A former Illawarra man has been jailed for a terrifying domestic incident in which his ex-wife and two young children were forced to hide at a neighbour’s house while he smashed his way through their house.
Police documents reveal the woman fled the northern Illawarra home after the man, who can’t be named for legal reasons, tried to strangle her in a drunken rage when he couldn’t find keyboard leads in the early hours of April 9.
The woman screamed to her children to follow her, and the trio fled to their neighbour’s house where they were given refuge while the man tore up his ex’s home, destroying musical instruments belonging to his children, a television, microwave and various other household goods.
The man then turned his attention to the neighbour’s house, smashing external windows while both families took shelter in a bedroom – the children hiding in cupboards and under the bed.
Police arrived a short time later to discover the man crouched in bushland nearby, holding an unknown object in his hand.
Repeated requests for him to put the item down were ignored, prompting officers to deploy capsicum spray then, when he still didn’t drop the item, shoot him with a Taser.
The man was treated by paramedics then taken to Wollongong Police Station to be interviewed, however he became aggressive while speaking to police and refused to answer questions.
He later swore at police and repeatedly told the officer in charge he was going to “hunt her down and give her the death certificates of his two children”, the police fact sheets read.
The man was jailed for at least nine months after pleading guilty to intimidation, assault and property damage charges in Port Kembla Court recently.
The court heard the 42-year-old IT professional had a long-standing problem with alcohol, and had a previous diagnosis of a psychotic disorder.
However, presiding magistrate Michael Stoddart said the man’s behaviour that night had been nothing short of appalling.
“How dreadful, not only for you ex-wife and neighbour but for those young children to experience this sort of behaviour – and for two of those children, you’re their dad,” he said.
“Any decent person wouldn’t put children through this – they won’t forget this, they will have to live with it.”
He sentenced the man to an overall jail term of 16 months, with a nine-month non-parole period, and ordered him to pay compensation to his ex-wife and neighbour totaling $9200.
The man has appealed the sentence on severity grounds, however was unsuccessful in seeking bail until the appeal hearing in the NSW District Court in October.