A 67-year-old man from Sydney was charged with four "serious" assault offences allegedly perpetrated against his new wife, who recently arrived in Australia from China.
In the ACT Magistrates Court on Saturday, Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker charged the man with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of common assault. The magistrate refused bail because of the likelihood of re-offending and the vulnerability of his wife, who does not speak English and has no support networks in Australia, the court heard.
Court documents state the woman is not a permanent resident or citizen of Australia.
Court documents state the man and his new bride had travelled to Canberra for a holiday. The alleged first offence occurred at the Australian War Memorial on April 5 in front of witnesses. It was caught on CCTV and war memorial security staff called police to attend.
It is alleged the man and the woman were having a "heated argument" when the man allegedly began to chase the women, swinging a bag in what security believe was an attempt to hit her in the head.
Police attended and the woman, through a translator, supported the defendant and did not disclose violent behaviour.
The couple was taken to their hotel by police.
The following morning it is alleged the woman woke up to the man collecting her handbag and belongings. Court documents state she feared the man was in the process of checking out without her, and taking her things. She attempted to take her bag, however it is alleged the man grabbed her by her hair, putting his other hand around her throat. It is alleged he began to squeeze her throat and forced her to the floor. It is alleged he continued to restrain her for a further 10 minutes.
Photos tendered to the court show "deep bruising" and red marks on the woman's neck.
A knock on the door interrupted the alleged assault and the woman ran out of the room towards the hotel reception. The man also left the room and checked out of the hotel.
It is alleged an argument between the pair ensued in the hotel lobby, with a witness telling police the man reached out his hands towards the woman's neck.
A staff member of the hotel then stood between the pair.
It is alleged the man said to the staff member, "that's my wife I can do whatever I want".
Police were called and the woman had her injuries assessed by paramedics. The man was placed under arrest.
The alleged victim had arrived in Australia in December 2017, and the couple had married in March.
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said some of the alleged offences were "brazen attacks on a women in a public place".
The magistrate said the man showed a disregard for the woman and her individual worth.
She said the woman, who has no other income, no other support and no other address, was particularly vulnerable and she was not satisfied any bail conditions that might be imposed could protect her safety.
Bail was refused and the man will be remanded in custody until he appears before the court again later this month. No pleas were entered.
A translator was available to the man and his representative from Legal Aid, however a translator was not available to translate proceedings during the bail hearing. The magistrate noted that information for the record but said it was necessary to proceed with the case.
'That's my wife, I can do whatever I want': Newly arrived Chinese woman allegedly strangled by husband in Aussie capital
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