A man who drunkenly bashed the mother of his children with a chair in Darwin’s Bagot community and later stabbed her in the face with a steak knife has been jailed for more than three years.
Matt Ngalmi, 28, pleaded guilty to twice unlawfully assaulting his ex-partner, who the ABC has chosen not to name, while they were both staying in Bagot for sorry business early last year.
The couple have three young children, but were no longer together when the assaults took place.
Sentencing Ngalmi in the Darwin Local Court, Judge Richard Wallace described the attacks as “truly awful”.
He said that Ngalmi had attacked the 29-year-old victim after assaulting her “many times in the past” and breaching several restraining orders.
“There’s nothing much I could order that’s likely to have any effect in restraining you if you come across [the victim] when you’re drunk, you’ll do anything you feel like,” he said.
Mr Wallace said the victim told the court in an impact statement she wished Ngalmi “gets locked up for a long time so [she] can be safe”.
Attack left victim with ‘maggot-infested’ wounds
When the victim told Ngalmi to leave her alone, he picked up a plastic chair and hit her over the head with it more than five times, causing a large laceration to her head and other cuts to her head and arms.
The victim’s cousin, who was asleep inside the home when the assault began, offered to call police and an ambulance but the victim, who was also intoxicated, said she wanted to shower and sleep.
The court heard she did not get treatment for the wound and slept on and off in the home for two days, during which time the cut became infected and fly-blown, with maggots in it.
One month later Ngalmi asked the victim to drink with him at another house in Bagot and asked she move with him back to his home community of Numbulwarr.
After the victim declined, Ngalmi became angry and grabbed a frying pan from the kitchen, which he used to hit the victim as she lay on the ground.
He also brandished a knife while standing over her and whipping her along the length of her body with a poly pipe.
The victim ran outside and asked a male relative to intervene, but he did not.
The male relative notified police, who were in the community on an unrelated matter.
Ngalmi’s defence lawyer, Juliet Hardy, told the court he expressed remorse and sadness over the attacks when he was interviewed by police and understood that “his response to feeling slighted in both of these situations was completely inappropriate”.
He was sentenced to a total of three years and eight months in jail.
Case reminiscent of brutal 2013 killing
The assaults took place seven months after a Supreme Court judge invited cameras into the courtroom to broadcast the September 2015 sentencing of Conway Stevenson, who bashed his wife Terasita Bigfoot to death in Bagot community in 2013.
Justice Judith Kelly said some members of the community had witnessed the prolonged, brutal attack but no-one intervened.
According to Bagot community leader Helen Fejo Frith, people in the community did intervene by calling police, but not physically because of fear.
“I don’t know whether their calls were taken seriously, but if it was, she wouldn’t have been gone now,” Ms Fejo Frith said at the time.
Source: ABC News