Grafton Courthouse Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Grafton Courthouse Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

Pregnant woman suspected man was sleeping under her home

A MAN who was feared to be sleeping under the South Grafton residence of a heavily pregnant woman will spend the next six months sleeping in prison.

Benjamin Roberts, 27, pleaded guilty in Grafton Local Court on Monday to two counts of breaching an apprehended violence order, after he was arrested at Grafton Base Hospital's maternity ward on Saturday.

According to police facts, he confronted the woman at her home on Friday, despite a 12 month AVO in place since October last year and the fact her address was not to be disclosed.

He told her he had some paperwork for her, saying he had been "staying off the drugs", and witnesses confirmed she asked him to leave several times before calling police.

When police arrived, the victim told them she and her sister had seen Roberts enter the backyard twice in recent days and she was scared he may be hiding under the house.

Under the house, officers found a towel which had been taken from her washing line.

Roberts was arrested the next day after showing up to the maternity ward of Grafton Base Hospital, where it is believed the woman was to have the baby.

Through the defence, Roberts apologised for the breach, saying he only saw her after she asked for money.

It was said he "couldn't refuse a pregnant woman" and met with her to hand over $800 for a crib.

He denied having harsh words with her, and said he "wanted to turn his life around" after the birth of his child.

The defence said he was studying a Cert. 3 in civil construction at the Trenayr TAFE campus.

While technical or 'non-violent' breaches, the offences were still serious, Magistrate Robyn Denes said.

 His history of violence and the fact he found her new address were also of concern.

Roberts was sentenced to nine months in prison, with a non-parole period of six months.

He will be eligible for release on October 8.



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