Power grinder threat during domestic violence

File image. © Andrew Bardwell

A man threatened to rip off a woman’s face with a power grinder he had plugged in in her bedroom during nine nightmare days of domestic violence, the Christchurch District Court was told.

A woman friend of the victim intervened that day to save her, and another day the couple’s seven-year-old son tried to save his mum from a bashing.

Corey William Conrad threatened the friend and told his son to shut up.

And the beatings and threats just went on and on. Judge Alistair Garland detailed all of them today as he jailed 27-year-old Conrad for three years five months.

The abuse included pulling out the woman’s hair, biting her, punching her, hitting her with a belt, as well as the abuse and repeated threats to kill her – and to kill her family, friends, and even their children.

Around the time of the violence in July, Conrad was checked by Christchurch’s forensic mental health services but they found no mental health concerns. Conrad’s family had been concerned that his mental health was deteriorating.

The main victim, aged 24, has been left with post traumatic stress disorder after her relationship with Conrad. She is receiving treatment for a brain injury, which is improving, as well as physio for her neck. She was left bruised, cut, and has a perforated eardrum from a toothbrush handle being jammed in her ear.

Their two sons, aged eight and five, are also receiving weekly counselling and are gradually recovering.

Conrad also threatened a second woman victim, aged 20, who he shoved up against the wall when he was angry. She turned her social media off because of the repeated threats. She was frightened of him because he is such a big man. He has many tattoos.

Conrad had pleaded guilty to 17 charges: two of intentionally injuring the woman, two of assault with intent to injure, two of threatening to kill, one intentional damage, five breaches of a protection order, two of assault with a weapon, one of assaulting a woman, and two of threatening behaviour.

Defence counsel Peter Doody said Conrad’s family were prepared to offer him a place for home detention, if the sentence could be reduced to within the two-year range.

Conrad wrote a letter to the court, apologising for the offending and saying he wanted to “rebuild” his life to have some contact with his children again. “He knows what the necessary steps are for him to address the problems that have dogged him for some time now,” Mr Doody said.

Judge Garland said the offending began on July 12 when Conrad became enraged, ripped out a clump of the woman’s hair and forced a toothbrush handle into her ear. He then repeatedly punched and kicked her and bit her on the hand and shoulder.

When their seven-year-old son yelled at Conrad to stop hurting his mum, he told the boy to “shut up”.

In the next incident, he threw a work boot at her and beat her with the other boot. He struck her with a belt, with the buckle striking her wrist.

He later strangled her with a dressing gown cord, twice. At one stage, the woman asked him to go into the bedroom with her, because she did not want the boys to see the violence. She was repeatedly punched that day.

In the next incident, he threatened to drown their two children.

He attacked her with a plastering tool and only stopped when she made up a story that someone had arrived and escaped with the boys.

Conrad threatened to kill her, her friends, her family, and himself, if she didn’t return.

On July 21, he was at her house when she arrived with the children and a woman friend. While she had been away, he had destroyed the walls and other items in the house.

Conrad leaped out and grabbed her by the neck while holding a butcher’s knife in the other hand.

He threw her on the bed, picked up a power grinder he had plugged into a wall socket, and told her he had bought it to cut her face off.

He threatened the friend to stay away, while he stabbed the butcher’s knife into the walls, but the friend did get between him and the victim.

Judge Garland said the incidents could have become a homicide, with the “sheer level of violence” involved.

“This is one of the more serious domestic violence cases I have had the misfortune to come across in recent years,” he told Conrad as he sent him to prison, adding extra time for previous convictions for a protection order breach, assault on a woman, assault, and wilful damage.


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