Man chokes, assaults partner after misheard ‘sl——’ comment

A MISUNDERSTOOD comment after drinking alcohol most of the day has left a man in prison for 310 days of a 2.5 year prison term.

Ronald Frederick Ah Sam, 56, pleaded guilty on August 3 in Rockhampton District Court to one count each of assault occasioning bodily harm and choking.

Crown prosecutor Samantha O’Rourke said Ah Sam had been in a relationship with the victim at the time of the offence.

She said they had been drinking with Ah Sam’s brother on September 27 when Ah Sam misheard a comment made by the victim, thinking she called his former long-term partner a ‘sl--’.


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Judge Michael Burnett said the incident took place late in the evening after the pair starting drinking in the afternoon and continued as they watched a movie.

He said Ah Sam punched the victim to the left side of the face and then pushed her onto the couch, which she rolled off.

The defendant then stood on top of the victim, squeezed her throat and punched her at the same time.

“You immediately realised you had done the wrong thing and apologised,” Judge Burnett said.

The woman sustained bruises around her neck, small lacerations to her lips and an injured nose.

“She was spitting up blood,” Ms O’Rourke said.

Defence barrister Scott Moon said his client was raised by his grandparents after his parents separated when he was young and his mother had health issues.

He said Ah Sam completed Year 10 and went to work at abattoirs for three years, then in a storeman job for the government for about nine years and drove trucks after that.

Mr Moon said his client had a falling out with an employer about five years ago and had been unemployed since.

He said at the time of the offence, Ah Sam was looking after his brother, Henry, who had mental health issues.

Mr Moon said Henry was looked after by a men’s group while Ah Sam was remanded in custody.

He said Ah Sam was remorseful about the incident and was no longer in contact with the victim.

Mr Moon said his priorities upon release were to look after his brother.

Judge Burnett ordered Ah Sam to a head sentence of 2.5 years prison, suspended after 310 days and operational for 3.5 years. He then declared 310 days presentence custody as time served.

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