A MAN with previous convictions for assaulting his partner and smacking his daughter with a belt has escaped jail after headbutting and punching the same woman.
The Swan Hill man was sentenced to a community corrections order (CCO) after pleading guilty in Echuca Magistrates Court on Tuesday to two counts of assault and breaching a personal safety notice.
The 31-year-old, who has not been named to protect the victim, was supported in court by his partner.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Dave Rennie said the couple had been in a relationship for the past 13 years and had a two-year-old son.
Snr Constable Rennie said on February 9 in Wodonga, the couple had an argument which escalated before the man headbutted his partner.
In another incident, the man punched the woman to the face with a clenched fist, causing her to flee with her two children.
Not long after, a personal safety notice was issued which he breached several days later by being at her house.
The court heard the man was convicted of assaulting the same woman in December 2014, which defence lawyer Elricia Schoeman said was at a time when the couple were using ice.
‘‘He grabbed her on the arm which left some bruises,’’ she said.
Ms Schoeman said the couple were still in a relationship, despite her client living in Swan Hill and his partner in Wodonga.
‘‘There is the prospect of him hoping to get the family back together,’’ she said.
‘‘She is supporting him in court today and they have both engaged with a psychologist.
‘‘He has expressed serious remorse and guilt and shame he feels for the serious nature of this offending.’’
Ms Schoeman said a CCO could help her client address his drug, alcohol and mental health concerns.
Magistrate John Murphy said jail would be the easy option, but understood the man’s partner would not want that.
‘‘You’re a coward,’’ he said.
‘‘You headbutt a woman and your partner and then come back again for more.
‘‘For this type of assault you could receive up to three months jail, but you wouldn’t receive the counselling assistance that you obviously need.’’
Mr Murphy ordered the man to do 300 hours of unpaid work as part of his 12-month CCO, as well as treatment for alcohol and drug abuse and mental illness.
‘‘If you stuff this up, you’re going to jail,’’ he said.