Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : March 21, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2017 - PAGE 3
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THE days of claiming that a victim of family
violence “only had minor injuries” are well and
truly over, you’d think, after the rise in commu-
nity concern about violence against women in
But, in the Korumburra Magistrates’ Court last
week, Magistrate Tim Walsh claimed the accused
man in a family violence case, his lawyer and pos-
sibly even the man’s female partner, the victim in
the case, hadn’t got the message.
“I don’t understand it. I don’t think they un-
derstand it,” Mr Walsh said about a dismissive
explanation for what happened during a violent
incident in March last year.
“Has your client got any idea how serious this
is? I’m thinking is he going in for three months or
is he going in for six months?”
Mr Walsh was talking about a case against a lo-
cal 42 year old man, who allegedly assaulted his
wife by picking her up by the head and throwing
her to the ground in front of her 8 year old child.
At the encouragement of a friend, the woman
reported the incident to the Wonthaggi Police Sta-
tion, claiming verbal abuse over the 10 years of
the relationship had escalated in the past two
years into assaults and threats to kill, often in
front of the couple’s three children.
Seven separate incidents of assault were re-
The woman told police at the time that she
feared for her safety and that of her children, but
later sought to make a no comment interview
to police, saying she wished she hadn’t made
the complaint in the first place, blaming her “so
But Magistrate Walsh said it was typical for vic-
tims in these situations to want to retract their
stories under pressure from their partners, and
he doubted the subsequent statement was writ-
ten by the victim at all.
The police prosecutor, Senior Constable An-
drea Webster agreed, saying she believed the
statement had been made by someone condi-
tioned to family violence.
“I have great concern about what could have
happened if not for the intervention of a third
party,” S/C Webster said.
“The penalty needs to reflect the behaviour that
has taken place in front of the children,” she said.
The argument had allegedly started over the
woman drinking that last can of soft drink in the
Police said the man grabbed his partner by the
arm, shoved her and bruised her arm during the
He detached the battery from the car when she
tried to leave the house and sometime later, threw
her to the ground, resulting in a minor graze to
“The bruise was barely visible,” said the man’s
“You’re trying to play down what has happened.
He threw her to the ground in front of an eight
year old child. I’m totally disregarding what’s
written here, Mr Walsh said.
“He’s pleaded guilty to this.”
“She doesn’t want action taken,” the lawyer re-
“That’s typical in these cases,” Mr Walsh said.
“Jail is not called for, a CCO might be or a fine
with a men’s behaviour program,” said the law-
yer, making a plea.
But the police prosecutor claimed a custodial
penalty was in range and was in fact warranted.
“The violence itself, the injuries are minor...”
the man’s lawyer continued but Mr Walsh had
“You don’t get it, your partner doesn’t get it ei-
ther. To pick her up by the head and throw her to
the ground in front of your child is a very serious
matter. You’ll be convicted and sentenced to three
Although the man was taken immediately into
the cells, his lawyer made a successful applica-
tion to appeal the severity of the sentence.
The matter will now be tested at the county
court at a later date. The convicted man was re-
leased on bail.
Three months’ jail after
assault in front of kids
CAPE Paterson residents are
extremely frustrated by Telstra’s
response to a network issue that
saw many residents without mo -
bile phone coverage for more
than a week.
The outage affected an estimat-
ed half of the town and impacted
phone users had no coverage or
As of Sunday, residents were
still experiencing issues with
their network connection.
Resident Nancy Vaughan led the
chorus of frustration towards Tel-
“ We’re being fobbed off because
were a small community. Imagine
if we were in Camberwell and had
no phone reception for a week – it
wouldn’t happen, ” she said.
“You could put up with it if
there was bit more respect. They
say they know about the issues
and they’re going to fix it but they
can’t tell you when it will be fixed
and they just say they’re in the
process of fixing the problem. ”
Nancy works from home and
her work involves demographic
research and writing funding ap -
She has clients across Victoria
and relies on a working mobile
phone to liaise with clients and
has been cut off in the middle of
important conversations through-
out last week.
But that’s only the start of the
impact the network issues have
“A woman Sue told me how
she’d been affected. She has no
landline and her internet is her
mobile phone tethered to her lap -
top, ” Nancy said.
“Telstra encourages you to do
these things but when things go
wrong you’re in strife.
“Her brother-in-law died in the
last seven days. She hasn’t been
able to book flights to Darwin,
hasn’t been able to email her fam-
ily, she’s been going next door to
borrow their landline to make a
phone call and she can’t do bank-
ing. It’s had a really big impact on
people like that. ”
Pip Carman was another resi-
dent impacted by the outages.
She explained how Telstra has
a stranglehold on the market in
“If you’re on Optus or any oth-
er providers you don’t usually
get reception. Everyone’s stuck
with Telstra because the tower’s
there, ” she said.
“ The worst thing is this is an
older community, so there are a
lot of people that aren’t techni-
“ One of our friends didn’t know
there was a problem. She thought
it was her phone and was going
to buy a new phone and there are
other people who won’t put two
and two together. ”
On Friday, Telstra Area General
Manager Loretta Willaton said
Telstra has been aware of an is-
sue affecting the mobile network
in Cape Paterson.
“We tried to restore the network
remotely, however this did not
work and we had to send a tech-
nician, ” she said.
“The area where the mobile
base station is, is not Telstra
owned, and seeking permission
to access the site delayed our ef-
forts to properly investigate and
then attempt to restore the ser-
“Restoration of the 4G network
was completed earlier today,
however further hardware was
required to restore the 3G (voice
“We have spent today sourcing
the equipment to send a techni-
cian to the site to complete fur-
“We had a technician again on
site from 4.30pm today and hope
to have it completely fixed later
this evening. We are sorry for the
inconvenience this has caused. ”
Phones out at Cape
Tad Hendry, Nancy Vaughan, Carmel and Kel Monaghan and Pip Carman were just a few of the Cape Paterson residents impacted by a
Telstra network issue that left an estimated half of the town without mobile phone coverage for more than a week. Rg111217
Photographs taken by
whether they are published
or not, are available on
order from the
Korumburra and Wonthaggi
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