A West Albury teenager became so enraged on hearing his long-time girlfriend was pregnant that he threatened to cut the baby out, a court has heard.
Eighteen-year-old Riley Layton Matthews also put a rope she threw at him around her neck and pulled it tight.
He immediately realised the gravity of what he was doing and so promptly stopped, something his solicitor, Shaun Mortimer, said showed his actions were not as serious as what at first might thought to be the case.
Nevertheless, Matthews – who disputed he made the threat about the baby, but rather “I will wring the neck of the child when it is born” – conceded he threw various items at her, including a 1.5 kilogram dumbbell that narrowly missed the victim.
Matthews pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court to assault, destroy or damage property, three counts of stalk or intimidate and with being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence.
That last charge related to Matthews throwing a 10 centimetre serrated kitchen knife at his partner. It instead became embedded in a wall.
Magistrate Michael Crompton immediately raised his concerns on reading an outline of what happened, commenting before Mr Mortimer began his sentencing submission that “there’s no doubt there’s some quite concerning” behaviour from Matthews.
Mr Mortimer said what showed the rope incident was not so serious was the fact it was Matthews and not the victim who raised it with police. This suggested a “degree of remorse” and so Matthews “should be given credit for that”.
The attack happened in the spare bedroom of the couple’s Albury home on March 19 about 3.30pm.
Police said they argued after she told him she was pregnant.
“Throughout the argument, the accused kept telling the victim she had to have an abortion, which she told him she refused to do.”
Matthews hurt the victim after grabbing her wrists and made the threat about cutting out the baby if she didn’t have the abortion.
On going outside, Matthews threatened a neighbour who dared look at him with “I’ll f … ing kill you”. He made a similar threat to another stranger soon after.
Matthews was convicted and placed on two community service orders requiring 90 hours of unpaid work, as well as several good behaviour bonds of up to12 months.