EXPOSED: Identities of shocking home violence offenders

15th October 2020 8:00 AM
Premium Content Subscriber only

Dozens of Sunshine Coast residents have been sentenced in court in the past year for shocking domestic and family violence offences.

Sunshine Coast police prosecutions officer-in-charge Dave Bradley told the Daily more than 100 domestic violence protection orders were being processed in the region's courts each week.

He said power and control, as well as societal issues like drug and alcohol abuse, were major factors in domestic violence.

"It always happens in the home, and competent perpetrators do it where they feel safe doing it - that's the nature of a true perpetrator," Senior Sergeant Bradley said

"A competent, narcissistic domestic violence perpetrator who uses power and control and patterns of coercion, they'll do it where they feel safe in the home."

EXCLUSIVE: Rare insight into Coast's secret women's shelter

HerStory: Read each woman's harrowing story here

University of the Sunshine Coast senior lecturer in social work, Dyann Ross, said home violence could take many forms and was a public issue, not just a private matter between two people.

"Domestic violence can include emotional and financial intimidation and extreme control and is also about the physical assault of a person, usually by a man against a woman, and often involving and impacting children," she said.

"The threat of violence is also very harmful and can create an ongoing climate of fear, anxiety and distress in the home."

Ms Ross said the causes of domestic and family violence varied, but red flags included intimidation and threats, undermining confidence, using children to manipulate, isolation, victim blaming and denial.

"You don't humiliate, control and assault people you love and respect," she said.

"Also if you love and respect yourself you won't humiliate, control and assault people."

The Daily has identified a group of domestic and family violence offenders as part of the HerStory campaign, which shines a light on what's going on behind closed doors.

From a fitness instructor who laughed after choking his wife until she blacked out to a "campaign of terror" inflicted by one man who dragged his girlfriend alongside his moving car, here are 10 of the Coast's most shocking domestic violence offenders who have pleaded guilty in court.


Torturer jailed for 'horrific' domestic violence spree

A violent man was jailed for the "absolute terror" he subjected his girlfriend to, including dragging her alongside his moving car.

Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings said David Allan Gonsalves' "campaign of terror" came to a head when the victim recalled being punched in the face about 30 times.

Gonsalves drove her to a graveyard where he cleaned up the blood before threatening to set her on fire.

She later tried to jump from the car as they were driving in Birtinya.

"However he reached over and had hold of the complainant's hair so she was being dragged along the bitumen and receiving gravel rash," Mr Cummings said.

Gonsalves pleaded guilty to 31 charges including the domestic violence offences of torture, grievous bodily harm and choking.

Judge Gary Long sentenced Gonsalves to eight years and nine months in prison. The court was not required to set a parole eligibility date.

Girlfriend bashed and strangled on train platform

A young painter said he was influenced by meth when he bashed his former girlfriend on a train platform and choked her until she couldn't breathe.

Brandon Lee Hurst, 23, walked from Maroochydore District Court after he was granted parole for a series of assaults on December 16, 2018.

The court heard he was suspicious about infidelity when he began berating his girlfriend on a train from Brisbane to Beerburrum.

Crown prosecutor Ashley Gaden said the couple got off the train at Elimbah at 7pm.

"The argument escalated resulting in the defendant punching the complainant in the head in excess of 10 times," Ms Gaden said.

"He further hit the complainant's body with his backpack repeatedly and threw rocks at her."

The incident was caught on the platform's CCTV camera and footage showed Hurst placing his hands around the woman's throat.

"He strangled her for approximately 15 seconds," Ms Gaden said.

Hurst was given a head sentence of two-and-a-half years in jail with immediate release on parole.

He was ordered to pay the victim $3000 in compensation.


Dad breaks partner's jaw in 'brutal' assault

A father who fractured his partner's jaw and punched her until she was momentarily knocked out was released on parole.

Jacob Henry Curtis, 24, pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court to grievous bodily harm and common assault.

Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook told the court Curtis and the victim got into an argument on January 23 about the custody of their children.

Mr Cook said the victim pushed Curtis in the chest, dragged her to the ground and punched her on multiple occasions.

Mr Rafter sentenced Curtis to two-and-a-half years in jail with an immediate parole release date.

Convictions were recorded.


'I'm going to kill you:' Man holds knife to wife's throat

A fitness instructor who laughed after choking his Danish wife until she blacked out was released on parole.

Torben Hugh Stovgaard, 30, pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court to four charges including unlawful choking in a domestic setting and wilful damage.

Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook told the court Stovgaard and the victim had been at a party before the offending on July 6 last year.

He said Stovgaard had been drinking at the party and later grabbed the victim by her throat and said "I want to kill you, you don't deserve to live anymore".

"She (the victim) walked away, he grabbed a knife and held it to her throat," Mr Cook said.

"She felt pain and she struggled to breathe.

"He pushed her to the floor and grabbed her throat.

"He slapped her across the face and told her to be quiet in case the neighbours heard."

Judge Anthony Rafter sentenced Stovgaard to three years in jail, with an immediate parole release date.


Man jailed for bashing pregnant partner

A man was sent to jail after he bashed his pregnant partner and she was left "bleeding everywhere".

New Year's Eve celebrations descended when Jai William Heard, from Tewantin, began drinking heavily and announced to a group of friends that "being in charge was a man's job and women should do as they're told".

The 28-year-old was asked to leave and as his partner, who was four months pregnant, drove them home he backhanded her, striking her glasses and causing a cut to the bridge of her nose.

A heated argument broke out once they arrived home where he struck her in the face again.

The victim then slipped and fell and curled up on the floor trying to protect herself.

At Noosa Magistrates Court, Heard pleaded guilty to nine charges including common assault and assault occasioning bodily harm.

Magistrate Maxine Baldwin ordered him to serve four months of a 12-month prison sentence.

Heard was eligible for parole on December 20 last year.


'Vicious attack': Children present for violent assault

An "appalling" and "vicious" attack of extreme violence on his partner left a magistrate concerned for their unborn child.

Senior Constable Mark Burrell told the court that there was a triple-0 called made from the woman who was in a de facto relationship with Zachariah Liam Blanks, 30.

She stated Blanks had punched her in the face several times.

The court heard that the victim suffered bruising and swelling to the face as a result of the multiple punches and had also been thrown across the lounge room where she landed on a coffee table which broke a vase.

Blanks pleaded guilty to one charge of assault occasioning bodily harm in a domestic setting and was jailed for 12 months.

His 170 days spent in pre-sentence custody were taken into account and he was given an immediate parole release date.

Convictions were recorded.


Woman 'thought she was going to die' at partner's hands

A woman "thought she was going to die" at the hands of her partner when he choked her for the second time in a night.

A court heard she had been drinking with David James Fysh at her Maroochydore unit when they got into a heated argument on October 8 last year.

Crown prosecutor Will Slack said Fysh was standing over the woman just after midnight when he first grabbed her around the throat with both hands and choked her for 10 seconds.

Judge Gary Long said the offending was serious and required a "strong degree of denunciation".

Fysh was sentenced to two years and four months in jail with immediate release on parole.


Tussle over TV remote leads man to choke partner

An argument over a television remote control led a Coast man to choke his partner as she called for help.

Maroochydore District Court heard Daniel John Friedman, 33, was going through a separation when he kicked his girlfriend in the stomach on the morning of March 20 last year.

Friedman was given an 18-month jail sentence with immediate release on parole.