Man bashes ex-partner’s new boyfriend with iron bar

A GRAFTON man has been sentenced for a terrifying incident that saw him enter the home of his former partner and attack her new boyfriend with a metal bar after he found the pair naked in bed.

Corey Brett Cooper appeared in Grafton District Court yesterday for a sentence hearing after confirming pleas of guilty to charges of enter a dwelling with intent to commit an indictable offence and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court heard the 24-year-old and his former partner had been in a relationship for about four years, but aboutAugust last year the relationship had ended.

According to the agreed facts, at about 10.40pm on the night of the incident Cooper went to the Tyndale address of his former partner after about "four or five beers" to collect a nut cracking machine he owned but had left at the property.

When he arrived Cooper went to the front of the property, which the court heard was also where the bedroom of the house was and then saw the victim and his former partner together in bed.

The agreed facts state both the victim and Cooper's former partner heard banging on the window before they saw Cooper enter the room from a door that opened onto the property's veranda.

The court heard the victim told Cooper to leave, however he refused and picked up a 60cm metal tyre iron and bashed the victim in the head before punching him several times in the face.

The victim managed to wrestle Cooper to the ground and force him out of the property, again telling him to leave before the police were contacted. Cooper was arrested the following day.

In court Cooper's barrister Dean Woodbury said his client "acted atrociously that night".

"In short, he went to get a nut cracking machine from the home he used to live in, found his former partner in bed with a new man, loses his temper and was an absolute goose," Mr Woodbury told the court.

Mr Woodbury admitted the last thing the two expected was to see Cooper enter the home and for the victim to be assaulted, but said he had not taken the end of the relationship very well.

"Mr Cooper is remorseful for his actions and for the injury he caused to the victim which is found in his complete and utter mea culpa to police and his early guilty plea," Mr Woodbury said.

During sentencing Judge Jonathon Priestley said Cooper's youth and no prior criminal convictions were in his favour, as was his remorse for the offences, however noted the serious nature of the crime.

"I think it's fair to say that it wasn't the best time to visit his ex-partner, where he sees through the window and does what he does, enters the home and has intent to commit a very serious assault" the judge said.

"It's a rather horrifying thought that they could be in their home where they should be free to do whatever they please without the intrusion of others.

"How many times does someone have to hit a person over the head with an iron bar before it's serious? Once in my mind."

Ultimately Judge Priestley decided Cooper's punishment would be served in the community, noting his strong prospects for rehabilitation and sentenced Cooper to an 18 month intensive corrections order, including 150 hours community service.