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‘Malicious assaults’: Queenstown man’s sustained abuse of ex-girlfriend

WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT

A Queenstown man narrowly avoided a prison sentence yesterday after admitting sustained, malicious and derogatory assaults on his former partner over four months, while already serving an intensive supervision sentence for assaulting her.

Jamin Kane Beattie, 29, had earlier admitted threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, assault on a person in a family relationship, assaulting her with intent to injure her and breaching his intensive supervision sentence from October 16 last year.

Counsel Paige Noorland said there was “no sugar-coating the offending”.

“It was malicious, over a long period of time, derogatory — it’s not something he’s proud of.”

In the Queenstown District Court yesterday, Judge Russell Walker said one of the conditions of Beattie’s intensive supervision sentence was not to associate with the victim, but less than a month later, on November 15, he sent two text messages to her phone, described as “disparaging” and “abusive”, in which he threatened her life.

On November 18, the victim arrived at Beattie’s home address about 9pm and sometime after 6am the next day an argument ensued.

Judge Walker said Beattie spat on the victim, told her how disgusting she was and how much he hated her.

She started secretly recording him on her cellphone.

He broke her earrings while she pleaded with him not to, then hit her with an open hand multiple times.

She ended up on the floor where he kicked her, stomped on her and tried to prevent her from leaving, after which she began to scream.

On Christmas Eve, Beattie asked the complainant to pick him up from a work function, and later began to verbally abuse her again, which she also recorded.

Without warning, he grabbed her by the hair, dragged her from the bed and punched her, ignoring her pleas for him to stop.

Judge Walker said Beattie manhandled the victim, threw her around, punched and kicked her, placed her in a headlock and twisted her head while covering her face and verbally abusing her as she “whimpered in pain”.

On January 31, he sent her several messages via Instagram in which he threatened to stab her and kill her and told her he would ruin her life. On February 1 he sent her more threatening messages.

Judge Walker said the summary of facts did Beattie no credit whatsoever.

He had seven prior convictions, four involving assaulting a person he was in a family relationship with, and one for wilful damage, which had a family harm component.

While he had a propensity for violence when in an unhealthy relationship, a report writer said he was motivated to find employment, had completed 350 hours’ voluntary work with the Salvation Army, and had engaged with counselling and other programmes.

Judge Walker said aggravating factors included the serious nature of Beattie’s offending, the prolonged and repeated violence coupled with threats which were “serious and somewhat appalling”.

From a starting point of two years’ imprisonment, Judge Walker ultimately sentenced him to nine months’ home detention on all charges, with conditions, one of which was to disclose any intimate relationship to his probation officer as soon as possible.

For threatening to kill, Beattie was ordered to pay the victim $1500 emotional harm reparation.

His existing intensive supervision sentence was cancelled.

How to get help

If you’re in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours or friends to ring for you.

• Run outside and head for where there are other people. Scream for help so your neighbours can hear you.

• Take the children with you. Don’t stop to get anything else.

• If you are being abused, remember it’s not your fault. Violence is never okay.

Where to go for help or more information:

Women’s Refuge: Crisis line – 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 (available 24/7)

Shine: Helpline – 0508 744 633 (available 24/7)

It’s Not Ok: Family violence information line – 0800 456 450

Shakti: Specialist services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and children. Crisis line – 0800 742 584 (available 24/7)

Ministry of Justice: For information on family violence

Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga: National Network of Family Violence Services

White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men’s violence towards women

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