Drunk on a slab, out of control

FORMER Albury man Derek Eldridge Koowootha drank a slab of heavy beer in five hours before turning violent with a woman he had been in a de facto relationship with for 14 months.

A court heard yesterday how Koowootha began swearing at her about 8pm on March 13 and she locked herself in the bathroom of their East Albury house to avoid him.

But he forced his way inside, kicked her in the forehead and spat on her face and arm.

Police arrived and arrested him and took him to the police station where no interview was done due to him being drunk.

An interim apprehended violence order was taken out by police for the victim’s protection and it prevented Koowootha from going to her home.

When released at 7.05am on March 14, police emphasised the ban on him attending there.

But he nevertheless returned and found his de facto was sleeping on a couch.

Koowootha hit his de facto to the left side of the head with a baseball bat before a man at the house intervened taking it from him.

The victim did not call the police after Koowootha left because she felt ashamed about having to ask officers to come back so soon.

Koowootha, 21, was due to appear in Albury Local Court yesterday after pleading not guilty to 13 charges from three separate incidents.

He had been granted bail to live in Cairns but did not return and his bail was forfeited.

Magistrate Tony Murray issued warrants for Koowootha’s arrest.

A provisional apprehended violence order for the victim’s protection was granted at Albury Local Court on March 17.

Koowootha and several others were drinking alcohol at a house in West Albury in the early hours of March 30.

He went to sleep for about 30 minutes, continued drinking when he woke and began yelling at his de facto.

She was kicked and punched to the temple and forehead.

Police were called and they arrested Koowootha.

An ambulance took the victim to the Albury Base Hospital where police obtained a statement from her and took photographs of her injuries.