Bail breach will end in jail, man warned

A NARINGAL man has been bailed until February 24 after allegedly punching his girlfriend to the face at the weekend.

Clement Rhyne, 40, of Panmure Road, appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Tuesday where he applied for bail. 

Magistrate Peter Mellas granted bail until the next court date with strict conditions, including:  that he live at Naringal, not contact witnesses, not attend licensed premises or drink alcohol, obey an intervention order and not attend within 10 kilometres of Warrnambool except to see his lawyer, his doctor or attend court.

Mr Rhyne was warned if he breached the conditions he risked going to jail.

Senior Constable Sue Forster, of the Warrnambool police family violence unit, told the court she was working on Saturday when Mr Rhyne and a friend came to the police station.

She said it became clear there had been an incident involving Mr Rhyne and his girlfriend. 

Mr Rhyne’s girlfriend later made a statement to police that she and Mr Rhyne on Friday went to the Boggy Creek pub and Panmure Hotel before they returned to Mr Rhyne’s home and argued over family issues.

The woman said Mr Rhyne had held her down by the throat and punched her to the face, changed hands and punched her to the face again.

She said she resisted and ran to a neighbour’s home with Mr Rhyne chasing her before she took a car to get away.

Photos of the woman’s injuries were shown to Mr Mellas.

Senior Constable Forster said Mr Rhyne had a history of domestic violence involving partners and had previously been jailed for that offending.

Mr Rhyne vehemently denied the charges, saying the woman ran off and suffered her injuries after he refused to give her a valium tablet.

“I didn’t chase her. She was mixing beer and Wild Turkey. She has no bruises around her neck which she would have if I had done what she said,” he said.

Mr Mellas said the circumstances were unusual as police became aware of an incident after Mr Rhyne attended at the police station.

He said the police had a relatively strong case, but further investigations were required and if proven charges would breach a suspended jail sentence.


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