Police refused to charge man after he splashed petrol on his partner

Ben Smee for The Guardian writes:

The Queensland police refused to bring domestic violence charges against a man who brought a can of petrol into his house, splashed it on his partner and held a lighter at her feet.

The police told Dani* there was a “prima facie” case against her former partner for threatening violence, but that there was “a low level of public interest” in pursuing charges against him.

The Sunshine Coast woman has now gone to the extraordinary length of hiring a barrister and launching a private prosecution against her former partner, an uncommon and expensive legal process that allows for victims to bring charges to court when police will not.

“I have sold my family home to fund the private prosecution and basically gone into hiding to stay safe,” Dani said. “I wear a personal alarm as I can’t trust the police to keep me safe and applying for another protection order is pointless.

Instead, police said Dani could be charged with assault for hitting her former partner, who she says is a much larger man and was acting in an aggressive manner, before running to safety.

“I was scared for my safety. I hit him and ran, put the kitchen bench between us, and froze. I am half his size. The police frame it like it was a fair fight.”

Police went on to conclude that the man might be able to defend his own actions, which included smashing property and bringing the petrol can into the house, by claiming his “erratic” behaviour was “post-concussive”.

[category Aust, domestic violence]

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