A HOMELESS man who bashed a woman unconscious in a sustained and vicious attack at Mildura’s disused railyards this month will spend the next 12 months behind bars.
Forty-three-year-old Vaughan Halsey yesterday appeared in Mildura Magistrates’ Court via video link and shouted expletives as Magistrate Michael Coghlan sentenced him to jail.
The 54-year-old victim was kicked to the head, chest, arms and body for about five minutes after Halsey pushed her to the ground in an unprovoked attack on the night of October 3.
She lost consciousness during the attack and suffered severe lacerations to her head and face requiring stitches, a fractured wrist, bruising to her right forearm, and sore ribs and abdomen.
Prosecutor Sergeant Alex West told the court the homeless couple had been in an intimate personal relationship for about two weeks before the assault which took place after they had each consumed alcohol.
Sgt West said that after a few drinks Halsey became agitated towards the victim for no apparent reason, pushing her to the ground before “laying the boot in”, as the woman later described to police.
The woman curled up in a foetal position during the attack and lost consciousness while Halsey left the scene with the woman’s backpack which contained her phone, wallet and a diary.
The court was told that after the woman regained consciousness she stumbled to a nearby house to seek assistance and police were called.
Halsey was arrested the following day with blood stains on his pants and shoes after police observed him walking in the Mildura CBD.
Halsey told police he drank three or four cans of Jim Beam with the victim on the afternoon of the assault while she consumed three cans as well as some port.
He claimed to have left the woman to go for a walk and returned at night to find her laying on the ground, believing she was asleep.
The accused claimed to have again left the scene and when he returned the woman was no longer there but her belongings, including her pink backpack were.
He said he collected the items and then went to sleep in a toilet block near Nowingi Place.
After being warned by Mr Coghlan that the seriousness of the offending would likely warrant a term of imprisonment, Halsey agreed to have the matters dealt with in the absence of legal representation.
“I don’t care anymore,” Halsey told the court.
“What are you going to do? Nothing,” he said.
“I don’t give a f***, give me five years.”
Mr Coghlan jailed Halsey for 12 months on a charge of recklessly causing injury to the woman and a further seven days for the theft of her backpack.
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