After Charlotte was abused, she asked Angela if he had hurt her too — the answer was yes (2024)

A Tasmanian manwho emotionally and physically abused his former partnerswould choke them until they lost consciousness, attack them if the house was untidy and demand they have sex with him almost every night, a court has heard.

Key points:

  • The DPPdescribed the man's behaviour as "coercive and intimidating"
  • The court heard he physically and sexually abused his two former partners
  • After initially pleading not guilty, he changed his plea to guilty days before the trail began

The man, in his 30s, has pleaded guilty to two counts of persistent family violence against two different women — an offenceintroduced in Tasmania in 2018 to address cases where multiple offences are alleged over a prolonged period of time.

The ABC has chosen not to identify him to protect the identity of the survivors.

WARNING: This story contains details that may cause distress.

In the Supreme Court in Hobart on Thursday, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Linda Mason SC, described the man's behaviour as "coercive and intimidating … punctuated by emotional and psychological abuse".

"It fed into his necessity to exercise dominion and control over the relationship, and when challengedhe would lash out by assaulting or sexually assaulting [the women]," she said.

The court heard the man met Angela (not her real name) about a decade ago. It was the first serious relationship she was involved in.

"Within a short period of time he began to make her question her self-worth, isolated her from her friends and family and caused her to become anxious and withdraw," Ms Mason said.

She said he would criticiseAngela's appearance, asking her why she would not wear makeup every day, why she was wearing certain clothes and tell her that no-one else would want her.

After Charlotte was abused, she asked Angela if he had hurt her too — the answer was yes (1)

Ms Mason alleged the man pressured Angela to get a breast enhancement and nose job —an assertiondisputed by the defence. It was not, however, disputed that he flew with her to Thailand and paid for the procedure.

He would also make derogatory comments about her "ability to maintain the house and domestic duties", Ms Mason told the court.

"He expected [her]to be home whenever he was home [and wanted the house to be] spotless at all times," Ms Mason said.

The court heard he would also monitor Angela'smovements, ringing the home phone, rather than her mobile, to check she was at home.

The accused also had a "high sex drive", which he expected Angela to meet, the court heard.

He also made her give him a massage every night and would become angry if she did not, Ms Mason said. Later on, that would lead to assaults. Eventually, he became physically abusive towards Angela.

"He started to push and shove during arguments. She would say she was leaving but he would lure her back in … once they were settled he would start being abusive again," Ms Mason said.

The court heard on one occasion she woke up to find him masturbating over the computer, after which he allegedly assaulted her "until she passed out".

"From then on, the violence and emotional abuse escalated to the point where there was ongoing physical violence," Ms Mason said.

Angela would eventually fall out with her family, with the man convincing her to move "to get away from family influences".

"On a number of occasions [Angela] tried to leave the relationship," Ms Mason alleged. "Whenever she reached this point he would cry, say he wished he was not the way he was and beg her to stay."

On a night when they had an argument that was "worse than usual", the man physically abused her and then raped her, the court heard.

"She stopped saying 'no'. It was easier and there was no pointbecause he'd get turned on by it," Ms Mason said.

Angela would go on to have children with the man. The court heard the man abused her while she was pregnant, at one point spraying mould remover on her.

Ms Mason told the court after the man assaulted her in front of her children, leaving them inconsolable, she decided to escape.

Meeting Charlotte

Within weeks ofAngela leaving, the man met Charlotte (not her real name),soon afterward telling her he loved her and within months asking her to move in with him.

"[Charlotte] noticed very early on the control he would exert over her relationship," Ms Mason told the court.

"He expected her to do all the cleaning because she worked less than him and he had an exercise regime."

Ms Mason alleged the manalso encouraged her to get breast implants in Thailand. She initially resisted but eventually got them in Tasmania and paid for them herself, the court heard.

"He wanted me to need him and not have confidence on my own. He wanted me to feel like I was lucky to have him," Ms Mason said, reading from Charlotte's statement.

Ms Mason said when the man's abuse left Charlotte with bruises, he would encourage her to make up stories to cover it up.

He also raped her following an argument, after which she fled to her mother's house, Ms Mason said.

Charlotte's mother had become suspicious of the man and asked Charlotte multiple times about her injuries.Her friends, who had also suspected something was wrong, called the police.

Charlotte did not want him charged but took out a police family violence order against him. Angela had done the same.

One day, Charlotte — who would care for Angela's children when they were staying with their father — asked Angela if he had abused her when they were together.

She said yes — but did not reveal the extent of the abuse.

Guilty plea

Ms Mason said eventually Charlotte moved out — but gave him another chance, after whichthe emotional and physical abuse continued, even when she became pregnant.

He attacked her in the shower, allegedly saying she should have had an abortion.

The defence has denied he wanted an abortion — but they do not deny he went on to physically and verbally abuse her, including lifting her up by her throat, grabbing her stomach and squeezing it hard, and finally, headbutting her while she was pregnant, resulting in her being hospitalised.

Ms Mason said it was an incident involving their son that finally convinced Charlotteto leave.

When the police interviewed the man, he told them "it was a volatile relationship",downplaying his own conduct.

"He denied the more serious aspects and told police he was getting help," Ms Mason said.

Further investigations revealed what he had done to Angela and when questioned he suggested the "allegations were fabricated" and that "they were best friends" who had "been colluding".

Along with the psychological trauma, Charlotte has suffered from a debilitating back injury due the domestic violence, undergoing multiple surgeries, Ms Mason said.

As for the man, he was charged with two counts of persistent family violence, to which he originally pleaded not guilty.

After years of preparing for a trial, in May 2021 he changed his plea to guilty — days before the trial was to begin.

On Thursday, after the facts of his case were read in court, the man was remanded in custody.

He is expectedto be sentenced next month.

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After Charlotte was abused, she asked Angela if he had hurt her too — the answer was yes (2024)
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