Man spends 40th being sentenced for choking woman over drugs

A man choked his partner after she threatened to take their son away if he was still using illicit drugs.

Andrew James Smith spent his 40th birthday in Rockhampton District Court being sentenced after pleading guilty to one count to choking.

Crown prosecutor Matthew Fleetwood said Smith had been in a defacto relationship with the victim for 4.5 years at the time of the incident.

He said they were moving into a new residence on July 1, 2019, when she confronted him about a bag’s contents and told him she would take their son if he was doing drugs again.

Mr Fleetwood said Smith slammed the woman against a wall and choked her until she lost consciousness.

He said she fell to the ground.

The court this week heard the victim stayed with Smith until he fell asleep and went to the hospital at 1am.

Mr Fleetwood said Smith told police the victim initiated the fight by punching him in the nose after looking in the bag.

He said Smith also told police he initially restrained her softly and after she passed out, he placed her in the recovery position.

Mr Fleetwood said the woman, in her victim impact statement, wrote the relationship had been detrimental due to both using drugs.

She admitted she had introduced Smith to ice, however, defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said his client blamed himself for getting involved with drugs – using ice for eight months.

He, after providing the court with recent drug test results, said Smith no longer uses drugs and has sought assistance from Beyond Blue as well as through his employer -Rhomberg Rail at Gracemere.

Mr Ahlstrand said Smith was ashamed of his actions and the embarrassment he caused his family, including his parents who live in Mackay.

He said Smith has six children from a previous long-term relationship, including two sets of twins, and a four-year-old son with the victim.

Smith was sentenced to 18 months prison, wholly suspended and operational for 18 months.

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