John Gomez

Domestic abuser tries to ‘jump bus’ to see victim

A TWEED Heads woman who was repeatedly bashed by her former partner narrowly escaped further potential attacks when he left a nearby psychiatric ward and disobeyed police directions to leave town.

Liberal MP Alister Henskens relayed the story while singing the praises of his government's Safer Pathway domestic violence reforms in New South Wales Parliament.

He said the man, highly dangerous with a long criminal record and a number of assault charges in relation to the woman, had been ordered to report to a police station in a far-flung corner of the state three times a week as part of his bail conditions.

A community health worker with the Safer Pathway program checked his records and realised the offender had voluntarily admitted himself to the Tweed Base Hospital mental health ward very close to his victim's home.

"Those thorough checks ensured the offender was made aware that the authorities knew his whereabouts and they reinforced that he was to travel immediately to the distant town upon discharge from the psychiatric unit," Mr Henskens said.

"The psychiatric unit staff escorted the offender onto a bus to travel to the location across the state and police were to follow up to ensure he did not get off the bus before he reached that destination."

The man jumped off the bus at the next stop.

"The offender was made accountable for his actions and his victim received increased safety," Mr Henskens said.

"The effective sharing of information between government and other agencies acted to thwart the offender's attempts to gain access to the victim - a safe and satisfactory ending to this story."

The Safer Pathway reforms were designed to allow authorities to pay extra attention to victims deemed at serious threat of domestic violence, and better sharing between Police, Health, Corrections, Family and Community Services and other groups to keep tabs on their would-be attackers. -ARM NEWSDESK


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