File photo
File photo

Mine tragedy triggers ‘toxic’ DV breach

A Gympie region mine rescuer involved in pulling a dead miner from an explosion has faced court after a fight erupted between he and his partner in the wake of the tragedy.

The 37-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said tensions were high between he and his partner following the death, which led to the argument.

In late June, police were called to their Mackay home after neighbours heard the heated argument, with the man having called his partner "useless" and a "piece of s---."

The police prosecutor said the man said to his partner something along the lines of "I should just kill you" or "I should just stab you" during the fight.

His partner picked up a knife, and said "I should just do it myself," pointing the blade at her chest, and giving herself three small, superficial cuts, the court heard.

The woman told police she was "distraught" and did not intend taking her own life, but felt like she "didn't want to live anymore" at the time.

The defendant told the magistrate his partner had also turned the knife on him, and due to being injured, he had to crawl away from her.

Police attending the scene also found a bowl and grinder containing 7.65g of marijuana in plain sight, the court heard.

The man pleaded guilty to one charge of contravening a domestic violence order, possession of marijuana and possession of drug utensils in Gympie Magistrates Court last week.

Representing himself, the defendant told the court he was a mine rescue worker, who went underground to rescue victims of mine explosions or collapses.

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The man said he had been called to a mine explosion earlier this year, and while working his foot was crushed, and had to have 14 plates and eight screws put in.

"(A person that I knew) was one of the casualties at the mine that day, I had to rescue him," the man told the court.

The man said the death, as well as his work taking him away and his injury put strain on his relationship with his partner.

He said the fight occurred the day after he was released from hospital following the rescue, and tensions were high between he and his partner, who was looking after him and their children.

"That day we were two people in a situation that won't ever happen again," the man told the court.

"[We] go through a rough patch but always pull through.

"I'm hoping the court will take that into consideration."

Magistrate Chris Callaghan accepted there were "great tensions" on the relationship.

He said it was clear the defendant held down a "very responsible job" but said the courts took domestic violence offences seriously, and said the argument had been "toxic" enough for the woman to hold a knife to her own chest.

For the domestic violence offence Mr Callaghan sentenced the man to three months in prison, wholly suspended for one year, and fined him $200 for the drug offences.

Gympie Times

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