Tortured woman forced to walk naked with leash around neck

A recidivist domestic violence offender forced his partner to walk around like a dog, on a makeshift leash from an electrical extension cord he had just beaten her with, while she was naked, in front of his housemate.

Sironen John William McKinley, 26, was sentenced in Rockhampton District Court on February 18 for charges of torture, assault occasioning bodily harm (AOBH), AOBH while armed, breaching a domestic violence order and possessing a used pipe.

His victim bravely sat in the back of the court during the sentencing procedure and gave her victim impact statement verbally.

The Morning Bulletin will not name the victim to protect her from any further emotional distress.

Judge Jeff Clarke picked up McKinley was shaking his head as the judge read out his sentencing notes.

The court heard McKinley accused the victim of infidelity the night after the humiliating, painful and degrading torture he carried out on her.

Crown prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke said the 21-year-old woman had dated Mckinley for a short period.

McKinley committed his first AOBH and breach of domestic violence order against the victim on October 31 when he punched her in the face and split her eyebrow while they were visiting a friend as he got stressed over money.

The torture charge, two charges of AOBH while armed, breach of domestic violence order and possession drug utensil offence were from a prolonged, degrading attack on the victim on Christmas Eve 2019.

Ms O'Rourke said the pair slept most of the day and the victim woke up to McKinley accusing her of infidelity.

She said he used a metal pole to hit the victim 20 times, even after she curled into the foetal position.

Judge Clarke said McKinley told the victim "you must like getting hit by the pole".

He said the victim told him to stop.

Ms O'Rourke said he involved a third person, turning to him and saying "watch this bro".

McKinley then ordered the victim to undress.

Ms O'Rourke said the victim tried to cover up using a pillow, but McKinley ordered her to put the pillow down.

She said McKinley then used an electrical extension cord to hit the victim, striking her multiple times with such force the prongs bent.

Judge Clarke said McKinley told the victim "you act like a dog, you get treated like a dog".

Ms O'Rourke said he then tied the cord to a leash, placed it around the victim's neck and ordered her to "walk like a dog".

Judge Clarke said the victim thought McKinley was going to hang her and contemplated suicide to escape.

He said she asked to go to the toilet and McKinley dragged her down the corridor to the toilet.

Judge Clarke said she limped out of the toilet moments later and McKinley "just laughed at her".

He said McKinley acted like nothing happened the next day, hugging her and kissing her.

However, the court heard McKinley forced her to wear tights when she went to see her family Christmas Day to hide the assault marks, and ordered her not to limp in front of her grandmother.

The victim managed to escape McKinley on Boxing Day with a family member taking her straight to the hospital.

The victim had haemotasis to her legs and torso.

She bravely, while sobbing, read out her victim impact statement in court.

She said she was in constant fear for herself physically and emotionally and found the Christmas torture humiliating and degrading.

"I was forced to plea for my life," she said.

The victim said she had ongoing mental health issues for which she took medication, and her relationships with other people, such as family and friends, had been negatively impacted.

Defence barrister Maree Willey said her client had a "difficult and dysfunctional upbringing" with his father in and out of the family's life, domestic violence between his father and mother, and his mother being an alcoholic.

She said McKinley was in a defacto relationship with another woman for seven years and they had three children together - who he had no contact with.

She said her client accused the victim in the torture incident of being a drug user.

Judge Clarke said police found the victim's DNA on the damaged end of the extension cord which was still tied in a knot, as well as finding McKinley's bong.

The court heard McKinley had convictions on his criminal record of violence against another former partner, including punching, choking and threats to bash and kill that victim.

That relationship ended due to the defendant's methamphetamine use.

"This demonstrates a clear and marked escalation in your violence," Judge Clarke said.

He commented on the level of cruelty and humiliation in the torture offence, which he described as brazen and protracted.

Judge Clarke ordered McKinley to 5.5 years prison for the torture charge, and lesser prison terms for the other offences.

He declared 419 days presentence custody and set parole eligibility as of August 30, 2021.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.