A MORTLAKE man involved in a physical altercation with his partner over her past sex life and who drove on the wrong side of the road to talk to her has been fined $1250.
Lachlan Dale, 22, of Townsend Street, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday to unlawful assault and failing to keep left of the centre of the road.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said Dale was totally self-centred and had a history of reacting in a selfish way, but was not entitled to act with violence.
Police told the court Dale and his then partner, who had a young child from a previous relationship, had been living together for a couple of months in the middle of this year.
On the morning of June 16 Dale got out of bed to get on a computer when his partner wanted to spend more time with him. The woman then left and walked down the street towards a telephone box near the town’s post office to call her sister. Dale followed her in his car and drove onto the wrong side of the road to talk to her.
When the couple returned home there was discussion about the woman’s past sex life, which developed into an argument and then a physical altercation. The woman suffered superficial injuries.
That night the couple went to Dale’s mother’s home for dinner, where the woman left her child before they returned home.
Very early the next morning the woman sought help from a neighbour while Dale was asleep.
Police attended at 1.40am and Dale fled through the back door before handing himself in to police just before 4am.
He made partial admissions to offending but denied assaulting the woman, claiming she had threatened to cause self-harm in the past to get back at him.
Dale has prior court appearances for assaulting police and driving offences and is currently serving a community corrections order. He is also facing other charges which are scheduled to come before court on October 30.
Those charges involve driving offences as well as assault and beaching an intervention order in relation to his former partner.
Defence counsel Vince Peters said Dale had a disadvantaged background and had been bashed and stabbed along Warrnambool’s Pertobe Road about a month ago. He said his client accepted his behaviour was not appropriate during the altercation.
Mr Peters submitted that the offending did not warrant an immediate term of imprisonment, to which Mr Klestadt commented it was “perilously close”.
The magistrate said there was nothing particularly unusual about the situation Dale and his then partner had been in.
He said a psychologist told him the accused was immature and had trouble dealing with issues.
Mr Klestadt said that it was a basic part of human behaviour that people did not use violence to sort out personal problems, especially a person they were supposed to care for.
“It has never been acceptable to beat up your missus. I don’t accept that is reasonable or ever been acceptable,” he said.