A Wagga man has been jailed after breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home in Estella and assaulting her.
Wagga’s District Court today sentenced Dion Cox, 27, to a non-parole period of 19 months’ jail after he pleaded guilty to break and enter and aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The court heard that on January 15, 2016, the victim was sitting at the back of her house when she heard her front door slam shut.
Knowing nobody else was home and expecting no visitors, the victim began searching her home.
When she got to her bedroom, Cox jumped out of her wardrobe, grabbed her, put his arm around her neck, and wrestled her to the floor.
She reported feeling like she couldn’t breathe, felt things “going fuzzy”, and started to feel “light-headed”.
The victim suffered a cut to her forehead and bruising to her neck as a result of the altercation, and was very shaken up afterwards, the court heard.
Upon seeing the victim’s injuries, Cox picked up a piece of broken glass from a mirror, held it to his wrist, and threatened to harm himself.
In his sentencing remarks, Judge Gordon Lerve said the fact that the assault occurred in the victim’s own home made the offence significantly worse.
“The sanctity of the home has been something the criminal law has always generously guarded for good reasons – citizens are entitled to feel safe in their homes,” Judge Lerve said.
“It must have been absolutely terrifying for the victim.”
While the judge accepted that Cox had good prospects of rehabilitation and was unlikely to re-offend, he was not able to accept he was truly remorseful for what he had done.
Cox will next be eligible for release on October 22, 2019, at which point a 14-month parole period will be activated and he will have to attend ongoing counselling and treatment for his mental health issues.
Judge Lerve also issued a domestic violence order on Cox, meaning he cannot assault, molest, harass, threaten, interfere with, intimidate, stalk, or contact his ex-girlfriend for the next five years.