‘Jekyll and Hyde’ jailed for latest bashing

A man’s “Jekyll and Hyde” violence towards women has brought a four-year seven-month jail term after a three-hour assault left his latest victim with 73 bruises and a broken rib.

Crown prosecutor Chris White told the Christchurch District Court sentencing that Justin Matthew McAllister had previously been prosecuted for similar violence four times between 1999 and 2014.

Judge Jane Farish said: “I don’t think he’s anywhere near being safe in a relationship.”

She had read letters of support for the 40-year-old ahead of the sentencing but she found them hard to reconcile with the account of the bashing, kicking and strangulation of his victim at his house in St Albans on June 6, 2017. She described McAllister as “a bit of Jekyll and Hyde”.

She said: “[The supporters] haven’t seen the man I saw on the CCTV footage – the man who was determined to inflict as much harm as he could on the victim over a lengthy period of time.”

McAllister had pleaded guilty to a charge of injuring the woman with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, cultivation and possession of cannabis, breaching a protection order, and his seventh, eighth and ninth convictions for disqualified driving.

McAllister had written letters to the judge and to the victim. The Crown and the victim will decide whether she wishes to receive the letter from the man who repeatedly punched, kicked and kneed her and gradually strangled her with a rope he had prepared ahead of time until she passed out.

She was left with swelling to her hands, feet, and arms, a broken rib, and a doctor counted 73 bruises.

McAllister sent her a threatening video message about her family a few days after the incident, and sent her a letter after that, in breach of the protection order she took out against him.

Defence counsel Kerryn Beaton said McAllister was already making significant efforts to change and had done courses while in custody on remand to deal with alcohol and drug use, anger and violence. He was attending weekly counselling sessions. “He wants to change, but he acknowledges that he has a lot of work to do,” she said.

Mr White said that because of McAllister’s history, the steps that he was now taking “should be treated with a level of caution”.

Judge Farish noted McAllister was taking steps to try to deal with his “demons” that led to him having such an appalling attitude towards women.

She described the attack as “very serious violence”, jailing him for four years seven months, and disqualifying him for a year on the driving charges.

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