A magistrate has told an Inverell football player he should be seeking to "be a good role model" to the younger generation after she convicted him for a domestic violence assault charge.
The 25-year-old Inverell man - not named to protect his victim's identity - plead guilty to punching a woman in the face multiple times, in the presence of children.
"You need to draw a line in the sand to stop this kind of behaviour," Magistrate Holly Kemp admonished at Inverell Local Court.
"As an exceptionally good sportsman, you yourself should be seeking to be a good role model."
Police statements tendered to court outline that during the course of an argument on December 1 2020, the man slapped a woman and punched her in the face.
When she resisted his hold, he punched her three more times to her already bruised face, before grabbing her by the back of the neck and holding her against the passenger side car seat.
The court heard children were also strapped inside the vehicle at the time.
Alcohol was not an issue, which puts it squarely onto anger management and strategies for dealing with frustration.- Guy Newby
When police attended, they took photos of the woman's injuries, which showed red marks on both sides of her neck, a cut to her left eyebrow, her eye bruised and swollen.
He was arrested and said no to both legal advice and an interview.
The man's solicitor, Guy Newby, said his client and the victim had made a "clean break" from the relationship.
He said his client had "been given a shock" and had shown introspection into domestic violence.
"He has thrown himself into rugby league," Mr Newby said.
"Alcohol was not an issue, which puts it squarely onto anger management and strategies for dealing with frustration."
Sergeant Marieka Wilkins for the prosecution said the punishment had to be a deterrent for him not to offend again, but also a deterrent against domestic violence in the wider community.
"The photos show this is a serious example of these offences," she said, saying that as a footballer, there was a disparity of strength between him and the woman.
Receiving a section 9 bond for a domestic violence offence in 2016, she said this incident was of a "serious nature".
"I'd be submitting that a custodial sentence is appropriate."
Magistrate Kemp said his "high level of violence" represented a "complete departure" from the "respect and dignity" a partner deserved.
Magistrate Kemp said only his early plea of guilty - in conjunction with his sentencing assessment report which "showed an acceptance" and acknowledgement of wrong-doing - had kept him out of prison in this case.
She warned that if he offended again, he would go straight to jail.
In the "direct alternative to full time custody", he was placed on a community corrections order for 18 months.
He will also do 50 hours of community service and will be forced to undertake any domestic violence and anger management courses directed by Inverell Community Corrections.
An AVO put in pace for the protection of the victim and her family continues.
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