Eyes gouged in fight with ex-partner

WINCING: Ben Harmer limped into the dock at Wodonga Magistrate's Court with
WINCING: Ben Harmer limped into the dock at Wodonga Magistrate's Court with

A MAN bashed by his ex-partner during a violent scuffle at a Wodonga home has been urged to end his relationship with the woman.

Ben Harmer, 37, limped into Wodonga Magistrate's Court on Thursday with a patched right hand, cuts on his face and a gouged eye after Wednesday’s incident.

He winced as he sat in the dock. 

Magistrate John O’Callaghan expressed concern for his well-being.

“This guy looks like he’s had a belting,” he said.

His ex-partner, by contrast, had no injuries.

Harmer claims to have been defending himself as the victim of the attack.

But police said they feared he would have killed his ex had they not arrived and broken up the pair.

The Albury man had been in a relationship with the woman for about 18 months and they remained friends after they broke up.

Harmer went to her home in Morrison Street and was drunk and refused to leave. 

She tried to call triple -0 and according to police, Harmer grabbed the phone and threw it to the ground before choking the woman to the point she saw stars.

He told the woman he would kill her three times and officers had to pull him off when they arrived.

Police said the woman had eye-gouged him to get him off.

Harmer’s version of events is that he was he attacked and was only fighting back, but he was charged with unlawful assault and breach of an intervention order.

“You are seriously injured by her,” the magistrate said.

“Whether that’s justice or just desserts, I’m not in a position to say.”

He urged the pair to end the relationship. 

“What your girlfriend does to you, it's just not worth it,” Mr O’Callaghan said. 

He also took aim at the “joke” of an intervention order between the pair, noting that some orders told grown adults who “should know better” how to manage their affairs. 

Such orders diminished what people were trying to achieve, which is stop domestic violence, Mr O’Callaghan said. 

Harmer was released after spending a day in custody following his arrest and thanked the magistrate as he limped out.