Man attempted suicide in front of ex-girlfriend


AN EAST Coast man who attempted suicide in front of his ex-girlfriend's home - following a horror night in which he drove "donuts" outside her home for 10 hours - has been charged with the rarely-prosecuted offence of emotional abuse.

The 28-year-old also urinated in his former partner's petrol tank, switched off her electricity, and smashed up her letter box during the same night in December 2019.

The woman is now said to suffer panic attacks and anxiety after witnessing the man's suicide attempt at her front gate, which only came to an end when a neighbour intervened.

The man appeared in the Hobart Magistrates Court on Wednesday, pleading guilty to one count of emotional abuse or intimidation and one count of destroying property.

A further charge of pursuing a course of conduct constituting economic abuse, was removed by prosecutors.

The offences of emotional abuse and economic abuse were enacted through parliament in 2004, with the aim of targeting the non-physical elements of family violence.

Penalties can be as high as fines of $6880 or up to two years in jail.

However, the offences have until recently rarely been prosecuted.

On Wednesday, Magistrate Chris Webster heard the man had been living in the victim's home during their two-year relationship, but they'd broken up during 2019.

The court heard the man had "considerable mood swings" and was verbally abusive to the woman, telling her she was a "piece of s… and worthless".

Mr Webster also heard the man had told his victim she was lucky the abuse hadn't "yet" escalated to physical violence.

On the night in question, after an argument that ended their union, the man turned off the electricity at her house, driving donuts in his vehicle outside her children's bedrooms from 10pm until 8am the next day.

The woman filmed some of the episode on her mobile phone.

During the night, the man also broke her letterbox, broke into other cars in her yard, broke a light above her number plate and urinated in the car's petrol tank.

Mr Webster ordered a pre-sentence report to address the man's eligibility for community service and being placed in a family violence program, among other options.

He will return to court on March 31.

In 2018, the full court of the Supreme Court overturned a decision - following an appeal by the state government - that would have permitted victims of emotional abuse to be compensated through Tasmania's victims of crime scheme.




Originally published as Man attempted suicide in front of ex-girlfriend