Knife held to woman’s back: Robinvale man jailed for six months

A ROBINVALE man was holding a knife to his victim’s back while she talked to police through her screen door, a court has heard.

Michael Rex Handy was sentenced to six months’ jail before Mildura Magistrates’ Court this week after pleading guilty to five charges including recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault from May 19 to 23 this year.

The court heard the alcohol-fuelled abuse by Handy caused the victim to suffer repeated panic attacks.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Raef Oliver said Handy had pulled the victim by the hair in attempts to get her back in the house, punched and kicked her in the back and ribs, and on one occasion hit her in the head with a pair of secateurs, leaving a 2cm cut that caused her to lose consciousness.

On May 23 police were called to the pair’s home over another matter and the victim answered the wooden door, but did not open the flywire door, while Handy stood out of sight with a knife to her back.

About 3.30 the following morning the victim attempted to flee the home, hiding in a garden across the road, however when Handy came looking for her she yelled to neighbours to call police.

During an interview, Handy denied holding a knife to the victim’s back and, when shown photos of the injury to her face, he said “it looks like a pimple to me … that don’t look like no secateurs mark”.

Handy said at the time of the offending he had been fishing at the river, but said he was a “drunk” so could not answer some of the questions because he simply could not remember.

Defence counsel Hugh Middleton said Handy was an Aboriginal man from Robinvale, had three children, and it was the first incident involving that victim. 

Mr Middleton said Handy’s previous offending related to a different victim.

“This was really very bad offending…you were violent on many occasions,” Magistrate Gerard Lethbridge said.

“It seems the problem is when you start drinking you get very drunk, you get disinhibited and commit these crimes.”

Handy was sentenced to six months’ jail, with 52 days served, and once released will be placed on an 18-month community corrections order including treatment for alcohol abuse and completion of the men’s behavioural change program. 

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