A woman who threatened her partner with a knife and a stepladder and ripped his earring out has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service after coming “within a whisker” of a custodial sentence.
Catarina De Garis, 23, was found guilty of two charges of assault, one of technical assault and one of physical assault against the victim, after he attended her apartment to end their relationship.
The court heard that De Garis had become increasingly agitated during the conversation and at one point picked up a knife and began “brandishing it” at the victim. He was eventually able to take the knife from De Garis and left the property.
De Garis followed him out the property and launched a physical attack on him.
The victim called his father and, while on the call, De Garis “grabbed” the phone from him, and a struggle ensued in which both De Garis and the victim sustained injuries.
Pictured: When police attended the scene they "immediately" saw an injury to the victim's ear.
During the altercation De Garis ripped the victim's earring out of his ear and attempted to hit him with a stepladder.
Speaking in De Garis’ defence, Advocate Chris Green said that De Garis had not made verbal threats to the victim and, after pointing the knife at him, had turned it on herself.
“The pair were not within reaching distance of each other when my client was pointing the knife at [the victim],” he said.
“Miss De Garis has had poor mental health for some time, including at the time of the incident, that is not to minimise her actions, but to add context to the relationship.”
De Garis pleaded not-guilty to both assault charges but was later found guilty at trial. Judge Fooks had presided over the trial and delivered De Garis’ sentence yesterday.
Judge Fooks said that De Garis had shown no remorse or insight into the impact her actions had on the victim and his family.
“Since you were found guilty at trial, you have tried to justify your violent actions by throwing as much mud as you can at [the victim] and blackening his name,” said Judge Fooks.
“You are not addressing the reality. You picked up the knife, you put [the victim] in fear of immediate danger, you launched at him to grab his phone, you accompanied him outside in an attempt to stop him calling for help and you pulled out his earring.
“I acknowledge that you also sustained injuries, but [the victim] was attempting to protect himself.”
Pictured: De Garis was sentenced in the Magistrate's Court yesterday.
Judge Fooks said she acknowledged De Garis’ previous good character.
“I accept that you were vulnerable at the time and were of low mood. I also accept your reaction was emotional, but your violent actions are not acceptable,” she said.
“If you had said you don’t understand why you behaved in such a why and that you would address what caused those events to happen it may be different, but instead you have just continually tried to justify your behaviour.
“I am not here to evaluate your relationship; I am here to assess the events that took place on 30 October.”
Judge Fooks handed down the community service order with a direct alternative of four months in prison.
“I have taken long and hard consideration on this matter, which is not an easy one,” she said.
“You have come within a whisker of a custodial sentence. I doubt what I have said today will be heard by you. I don't doubt you will continue to tell the community your narrative, but this court does not believe you.”
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There are no comments for this article.