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Matthew James Murray: Geraldton man given community-based order after assaulting and terrifying partner

Jamie ThannooMidwest Times
A man convicted of assaulting, threatening and intimidating his partner has been given a community-based order.
Camera IconA man convicted of assaulting, threatening and intimidating his partner has been given a community-based order. Credit: Anita Kirkbright / Geraldton Gua

A man convicted of assaulting, threatening and intimidating his partner — including sending her a message that he would “gut” her — has been given a community-based order in the hope that his underlying alcoholism issues can be addressed.

Matthew James Murray, 43, appeared in Geraldton Magistrates Court where he was sentenced after being convicted of aggravated assault, making threats and pursuing to intimidate his partner, as well as criminal damage of property and eight breaches of protective bail conditions.

On January 6, Murray slapped his partner of two years while the two were having an argument in their Mount Tarcoola home.

Earlier that morning, Murray had sent a text message to the woman in which he threatened to “gut” her.

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In an incident three days afterwards, the victim returned home to find Murray had caused damage valued at $700 by smashing a door and shower screen in their home.

Between February 22 and March 29, Murray repeatedly sent text messages to the woman, telling her that he still loved her, which she ignored,

Murray had been on protective bail conditions, with orders not to contact the victim, and he was arrested on March 31.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Ross Gray said the victim had moved address because of Murray’s behaviour.

“The victim has become so fearful of the accused she left her home,” he said.

Sgt Gray said he supported a community-based order, acknowledging the man had treatment needs for alcohol issues.

Magistrate Angus Hockton said Murray’s actions were serious, but acknowledged his clean record and the fact he pleaded guilty early.

“If you had had any history of domestic violence prior to this, you would have been facing a term of imprisonment,” Mr Hockton said.

The magistrate said Murray was unlikely to reoffend and agreed he had treatment needs, and granted him a 12-month community-based order with treatment requirements.

Help is available at 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732)

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