DV victim so ‘worn down’ by abuse, she ran into traffic
A domestic violence offender who blames his victims for his actions was chastised for his "sullen behaviour" and "passive aggressive stance" in court when facts of his two choking offences were detailed.
Christopher Wayne Sleeman, 23, was sentenced in Rockhampton District Court on February 26 after pleading guilty on February 19 to two counts of choking, breaches of domestic violence orders and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Judge Jeff Clarke said Sleeman's criminal record was predominantly domestic violence offences involving emotional violence, damaging phones, standing over victims, biting and punching.
He said it was troubling someone of his age would have such a criminal record.
Judge Clarke chastised Sleeman for his "sullen behaviour" and "passive aggressive stance", as he was "dismissive" and shaking his head while the facts of his "simply cowardly, gutless behaviour" in regards to the two choking offences were read out in court.
"You have displayed no remorse whatsoever," Mr Clarke said.
A court report showed Sleeman had a "poor attitude" involving beliefs he owned victims and blamed his victims.
Sleeman was on parole for two days when he carried out the first choking offence which took place on December 22, 2019.
The court heard Sleeman and his partner were at a friend's place drinking when she went to lay down because she was tired.
Sleeman entered the room, turned off the airconditioner and demanded she come back out.
The victim told him she was tired.
Sleeman lay on the bed next to her and grabbed her phone before choking her for 10 seconds.
The victim punched a wall to get the attention of others to help her.
She managed to escape and gathered her belongings to go to a friend's place.
Judge Clarke said the victim wanted to go to the friend's place because she was afraid of what Sleeman would do to her.
He said she was so "worn down by your abuse, she ran into traffic in order to self harm".
The next choking offence took place in March 2020 when Sleeman was at home with the victim.
A friend of hers attended to check on the victim and asked if she could stay with her due to Sleeman's behaviour and her fear of what he would do to her.
Judge Clarke said Sleeman brazenly offended while the lady was in the house.
The victim and her friend were in the loungeroom and some time that night, Sleeman demanded the victim join him in the bedroom.
There was an argument after the victim asked Sleeman about messages he sent to other women.
Sleeman told the victim to shut her mouth.
The visitor stayed in the loungeroom but she could hear the noises of Sleeman assaulting the victim, including a slap on skin.
She heard the victim cry out "what the f--- are you hitting me for?"
The victim screamed at Sleeman to get out of the house.
Sleeman grabbed the victim around the throat and she pushed him away.
He then punched her to the head.
There was a wrestle and they fell off the bed, with the visitor hearing thumps before everything went silent.
The visitor eventually entered the room and saw Sleeman on top of the victim with his hands around her neck, squeezing. The victim's face was red and she was squirming to escape.
The witness intervened.
Sleeman told the witness the victim provoked him.
He had choked the victim to the point she lost consciousness for 40 seconds.
When she regained consciousness, she screamed at him for almost killing her.
She left the house with Sleeman following and continuing to argue with her.
He then poked her in the eye.
The victim and witness left in the morning and went to the victim's mother's house.
When police arrested Sleeman, they found messages on his phone to the victim's mother trying to minimise his offending, but admitting he choked the victim.
The facts of the unlawful use of a motor vehicle involved a vehicle which had been taken from a house in Mt Morgan and crashed into a pole.
As police secured the scene, Sleeman drove past with others and his fingerprints were later found on the rear passenger side of the smashed car.
The court heard Sleeman became a father when he was 12 years old.
He has five children in total, including two with the choking victim and two others born while he was in a relationship with the choking victim, that are younger than those he has with her.
Sleeman's mother died when he was 15.
He has abused marijuana and alcohol since he was 11.
Judge Clarke sentenced Sleeman to a head sentence of 4.5 years prison, declared 91 days presentence custody and set parole eligibility at May 27, 2022.