A FRIGHTENING family violence incident has led to a Warrnambool man being required to do community work.
Magistrate Cynthia Toose told Timothy William Gabriel the only reason she was not imposing a jail term was that he was now engaged with the Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre, had returned clean drug screens and was halfway through a men's behaviour change program.
"It was a very ugly incident. It was an outrageous way to conduct yourself, but you have no offences since 2007 and have now sought help," she told the 37-year-old, of Whites Road, Warrnambool.
"Your activities aimed to cause maximum pain and suffering; maximum distress," she said.
Gabriel was placed on a 12-month community corrections order with conditions he do 120 hours community work, assessment and treatment for drugs, mental health and programs as requested.
"Hopefully this is a very big wake-up call about how you conduct yourself for the rest of your life," Ms Toose said.
Police said that Gabriel and the victim had been in a 15-year relationship but they lived at different addresses.
In the lead-up to an incident, Gabriel had been smashing plates and had grabbed the victim around the throat.
On March 5 Gabriel got up coughing and complaining about how much dust there was in the victim's home.
They argued and Gabriel told the woman she was not ringing anyone, he took her mobile phone and smashed it.
Gabriel then spat on curtains and carpet and he threatened to burn a blanket.
The woman was terrified for her life and Gabriel also smashed a photo of her deceased son.
Gabriel said he hoped someone killed her, then took her car and drove off.
When he returned there was a dent in the driver's side of the car .
During an interview with police Gabriel said he had been "snap reacting" and that the woman had kicked him.