Port Kembla man denies assault on partner

A Port Kembla man released from jail less than a month ago after serving time for domestic violence offences has denied claims he assaulted his partner at Bulli at the weekend.

Aaron William Hockham pleaded not guilty to charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and contravening an AVO, stemming from claims he abused the woman in the early hours of Saturday.

Wollongong Local Court heard Hockham was released on parole in December after serving a sentence for trying to strangle the woman.

However, he denies allegations that he inflicted a series of injuries on her around 3.30am on Saturday that left her ‘‘hysterical’’ and crying for him to ‘‘go away’’.

Police documents tendered to the court during Hockham’s bail application yesterday claim a witness found the woman crying and scantily clothed in the garage of the Bulli home, moments after hearing her and Hockham arguing in the house.

The woman, who had bruises over her body and a wound to her temple, told the witness at the time that Hockham had a hammer in his possession.

The woman returned to the house moments later where Hockham allegedly attempted to comfort her, however the woman yelled towards the witness ‘‘get him away from me, please keep him away from me’’.

When police arrived a short time later they claim the woman was in a ‘‘hysterical’’ state.

When asked where Hockham was, she said he wasn’t at the address, however, the witness confirmed he was still in the house.

Police found him upstairs in the bedroom ‘‘pretending to be asleep’’ and arrested him, noting he appeared to be ‘‘sweating’’, as if he’d just been physically active.

A red and black hammer found in the room was seized by officers.

The woman was taken to Wollongong Hospital for treatment to the temple wound and several fresh bruises and scrapes on her body.

Hockham’s lawyer, Jonathan Kearney, said his client would fight the allegations, noting the woman was yet to provide any statement to police, and was in fact in court supporting Hockham’s bid for bail.

Magistrate Geraldine Beattie refused to release Hockham from custody, saying the court’s primary concern was the protection of the alleged victim.

She said she had no faith that the pair would abide by bail conditions prohibiting them from having contact if Hockham was released.

The case will return to court in February for hearing.

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