A MAGISTRATE refused to believe a domestic violence victim’s retraction after she claimed in court to have made a false allegation to police.
Magistrate Ann McGarvie found Amos Atkinson, 26, of Marlee Court, Warrnambool, guilty of breaching an intervention order last week.
Three counts of breaching intervention orders and an unlawful assault charge were proven, while charges of recklessly causing injury and causing criminal damage were dismissed.
The victim told Warrnambool Magistrates Court she made false allegations to police and exaggerated what had happened because she was mad at Atkinson, her former partner.
“I apologise. Everything is better. I’m sure it will stay this way,” she said.
“I was emotionally disturbed. We’re getting on better than ever now. I was panicking at the time. I thought it might go further. I was worried and feeling guilty. It was doing my head in.”
The victim said she fabricated a version of events.
“I couldn’t handle it any more. I didn’t want him to explode. I made up a story,” she said.
“I was young and silly. We were hurting each other.”
The victim said she had received abusive text messages between July 14 and 18 but did not see a car containing Atkinson drive by a male friend’s house.
That friend told the court he saw Atkinson drive past his home armed with a bundi (Aboriginal hunting stick).
He said Atkinson threatened to kill him, the female victim and to rape his mother.
In sentencing Atkinson, Ms McGarvie said she found him guilty of extremely serious offending.
She said the community was now more aware of violence within families and was appalled by what happened in homes among loved ones.
The magistrate said the community would be outraged if such violence was committed in the middle of a street or at a hotel.
Ms McGarvie said she was not convinced by the female victim’s recanting of evidence.
She said victims faced huge conflicts involving the love for a person and the hate for violent behaviour.
She said Atkinson was the father of the victim’s four children and he saw his children on holidays, although the couple were no longer together.
She said too many people used violence against former partners: “People are not objects. You do not own or control them.”
Atkinson was convicted, placed on a 12-month community corrections order with conditions that he complete 100 hours of community work and a men’s behaviour change program.