Jealous boyfriend jailed for five years

A MAN who tried to suffocate his girlfriend while bashing her after she talked to other men at a pub has been jailed for five years.

Andrew Miller, 43, repeatedly told his partner Kerrie Johnston he was going to kill her, as he hit her and smothered her with a pillow, the Victorian Supreme Court heard today.

He pinned her to the bed, bit her and held her mouth and nose to stop her from breathing.  The pair had been drinking at the Peter Lalor Hotel in Ballarat and were staying in an upstairs room when the assault occurred on June 26 last year.  At one point during the attack Ms Johnston pretended to pass out.  Miller slapped her to the face and told her: “Wake up bitch, you’re not dead yet”, the court heard.

Later, he grabbed a doona and wrapped Ms Johnston’s head in it causing her to lose consciousness.  Miller left the hotel believing he had killed Ms Johnston, the court heard.  Miller, of Bacchus Marsh, pleaded guilty to intentionally causing serious injury and making a threat to kill.  Ms Johnston has suffered “very significant psychiatric consequences” as a result of the attack, the court heard.

Her physical injuries included swelling to her lips, lacerations to her ears, bite marks and a missing tooth.  Jailing Miller for five years, Justice Paul Coghlan said the attack must have been a “very harrowing, very frightening and terrifying experience for Ms Johnston”.  Miller’s offending was caused by his addiction to alcohol, he said.  “I suspect you are a formidable person when out of control,” Justice Coghlan said.

Miller, who was already served 396 days in custody, must serve a minimum of three-and-a-half years.

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