An ACT magistrate has described attacks by a Canberra man against his former partner as “brutal, cowardly and inexcusable”, after he choked and assaulted her, during an abusive relationship.
- Jamie Millard has been sentenced to four years and nine months in jail for charges of domestic violence
- Millard’s ex-partner Bree Myers says he choked her while she was holding a baby
- Ms Myers says she felt “heard” as a result of the sentencing
Jamie Millard, 41, was charged with two counts of choking and two of assault causing actual bodily harm.
Millard pleaded guilty to the four charges and also pleaded guilty to breaching a family violence order by trying to contact Ms Myers through a friend.
Ms Myers told the court in a victim impact statement that she felt as if any day could have been her last as Millard had kept her under constant surveillance and controlled everything including what she wore.
Ms Myers said on one occasion Millard choked her so badly she had to be hospitalised.
He then forced her to lie to work colleagues and tell them she had dropped a five-kilogram weight on her neck at the gym.
Magistrate Louise Taylor noted to the court that Ms Myers had been in pain for six weeks after the incident.
“She estimated the force used by the defendant as he held her neck was 9.5 out of 10,” Magistrate Taylor said.
The court also heard Ms Myers had been holding her baby at the time.
In a separate assault, Millard had choked Ms Myers against a pillar near their home’s front door.
“Her son was standing at the front door crying,” Magistrate Taylor explained to the court.
“This was conduct intended to communicate to the victim that the defendant held her life literally in his hands.
“[It demonstrated] his physical and psychological dominance over her.
“Even little eyes on him did not stop him.”
‘I’ll never be totally safe and I’ll never be scared’
Magistrate Taylor took aim at a suggestion to the court that Ms Myers could have simply left the relationship.
“Based on [a] modern, more enlightened understanding of family violence [and its paralysing effect] such a suggestion is absurd,” she said.
Magistrate Taylor also referred to Ms Myers’s victim impact statement saying it was a powerful recital of the impacts of family violence.
In response, Ms Myers said she felt heard by the court.
“I feel Magistrate Taylor really understood my fear and the dangers I face,” she said.
“I’ll never be totally safe and I’ll never be scared of him and what he’ll possibly do when he gets out.”
Millard was sentenced to four years and nine months in jail, with a non-parole period of 39 months.