A decision by two Magistrates and a Supreme Court Justice to maintain a term of incarceration for a man who choked his partner was a strong statement, the Women's Legal Service Tasmania says.
Kent Andrew Brown had an appeal against a three-month sentence, which included two months suspended, dismissed on grounds it was not manifestly excessive.
Magistrates Ken Stanton and Simon Brown both imposed prison sentences for the offence - during which Brown choked his partner when his children were watching - and acting Justice David Porter made the final dismissal of the appeal in the Supreme Court. Brown originally pleaded guilty to the offence.
The incident occurred in February, two months before Premier Peter Gutwein announced the state government would introduce legislation capturing non-fatal strangulation in a standalone offence, and 17 months after a coroner Olivia McTaggart recommended the government investigate doing so in the wake of the death of a Sorell woman.
The Sorell woman was murdered by a man with five recorded instances of non-fatal strangulation.
Women's Legal Service Tasmania chief executive said the appeal and dismissal highlighted the importance of that standalone offence - which the dangers of have been "documented over many years, particularly in homicide cases", according to acting Justice Porter.
"It's good to see that the decision was upheld," she said.
"It reiterates how important it is for us to have that standalone offence for non-fatal strangulation."
While the offence is not expected to be tabled in a Bill by state Attorney-General Elise Archer until sometime next year, Ms Cehtel said the fact three judges upheld the decision showed strong leadership from the bench.
Ms Archer eventually announced the government would officially legislate the offence after a Sentencing Advisory Council report into how it would be sentenced was released in June.
The Council's report suggested three reforms which included amending the state's Sentencing Act so non-fatal strangulation would be seen as an aggravating circumstance and noting non-fatal strangulation as a particular of family violence offending on a criminal record.
As it stands, non-fatal strangulation is captured by the Police Offences Act as a common assault or as a criminal code assault.
The incident involving Brown was referred to the Magistrates Court as common assault and, as such, carried with it a maximum term of imprisonment of 12-months jail.
Family violence support services:
- 1800 RESPECT (737 732)
- Family Violence Counselling and Support Service 1800 608 122
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: