Man to appeal court conviction for assaulting girl

Ivan Cirak, 32, was convicted and fined yesterday in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court over two counts of assault.

Ivan Cirak, 32, was convicted and fined yesterday in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court over two counts of assault.

A MAN who grabbed a young girl by the throat will appeal his conviction. 

Ivan Cirak, 32, was convicted and fined yesterday in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court over two counts of assault.

Cirak pleaded not guilty. 

The court was told on March 1 this year Cirak, a woman and her daughter — the victim — went for a walk from their south-west home to a milk bar and then to a park.

The victim, giving evidence from a remote witness room, said Cirak grabbed her by the neck as she was walking the dog.

“Ivan grabbed me. He grabbed me really hard and it hurt my neck,” the victim said in an interview recorded on the day of the incident.

She told police she felt “upset” when the group reached the park.

Defence counsel Ian Tyson argued his client had only touched the victim on the shoulder as the Siberian husky held by the girl on a leash dragged her towards the road.

But the victim denied the claim. “He actually grabbed me by the neck,” she told the defence.

A witness who saw the accused and the victim pass by a demolition yard also gave evidence.

“The man pulled the girl by the hair. He placed both hands around her neck and began shaking her. He lifted her a foot off the ground. I screamed at him to put her down but I don’t think he heard me,” the witness said. 

“Instead of grabbing the leash he grabbed her by the hair.”

The witness contacted police who located and interviewed the accused later that day.

Under cross-examination Cirak, now of Erica Street Wendouree, denied the charges, saying he grabbed the girl by her shoulder to stop her from being dragged on to the road.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Nathan Brown said the victim had not wanted to walk the dog and had been crying during the walk.

He suggested Cirak had lost his temper as the dog dragged the girl towards the road and had reacted by grabbing her throat.

“Your reaction was to lift her up and shake her violently,” he said.

Cirak also faced a separate charge of assaulting the woman on March 13. 

Senior Constable Brown said the accused pushed the woman off her chair during an argument about a computer. 

“He has pushed the victim off her chair causing her to stumble and hurt herself in the process,” Senior Constable Brown said.

Magistrate John Lesser said he accepted the evidence of the witness and found no reason to doubt his version of events.

Cirak was convicted and fined $1850 for both charges and was also served with an intervention order not to approach the victim for six months.

He will appeal the penalty.

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