A man charged with domestic violence offences, as well as the theft of a trailer, was jailed until a release date of February - not only due to the incidents themselves, but also because he was serving a court order at the time of committing them.
Nicholas John Petchell was charged with assault, intimidation, and breaching an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), for an incident on the morning of February 26, 2020. Furthermore, he was charged with 'Do act to pervert the course of justice' for "emotional torment" carried out between that date and March 3.
During an argument, en route to the residence of the victim's friend, the 40-year-old blocked her path then punched her to the side of the head and she fell to the ground. He then stood over her and punched her several more times, before she got up and ran to her friend's residence - with him following and pleading with her.
Petchell was arrested by police at a later date and during questioning denied assaulting the victim. He said the argument was over the victim's Facebook messages to another person and that he'd since posted them to his page.
The incident also breached the AVO, which had been in place since May of 2019. It contained conditions that he not assault or intimidate the victim.
Earlier, on the evening of February 22, 2020, Petchell had stolen a rental trailer from a service station on the Sydney Road, Mudgee, while it was closed. CCTV footage showed him walk to the rear of the station, before returning to the co-accused's car in the street, which was then driven to the location and used to tow the trailer away.
It was reported stolen and later found in Wellington on March 5, with a homemade power cable attached for the brake lights and indicators. The company policy dictates that the power cable intended for the trailer is issued by the service station upon rental.
Petchell was recognised in the CCTV footage by police and when questioned he claimed to have rented the trailer at a Gulgong service station and was collecting it from the Mudgee location - an agreement that wouldn't have been permitted. He also said he'd paid for the rental with a bank card, but no such financial transaction could be proven.
He appeared in Mudgee Local Court last Wednesday, via Audio-Visual Link, having been refused bail since March, because the matters put him in breach of an earlier order he'd been placed on. Magistrate David Day said the defendant is "a restiveness criminal" and that "mitigating circumstances are few".
"All of the offences occurred when Mr Petchell was on conditional liberty - specifically an Intensive Correction Order," he said. "There's no reason why the violent offences shouldn't attract a jail term."
Furthermore, the prison sentence for the 'Steal trailer' offence isn't set to commence until the expiration of the non-parole period for the domestic violence matter. This quelled the possibility of the prison time for that lesser charge running concurrently to the substantive matter.
His honour said he dealt with the trailer theft this way because, "it's totally separate aspect in brazen circumstances".
Following the seven months imprisonment, Petchell will commence a two-year Community Corrections Order with a condition that he complete rehabilitation. Magistrate Day added, "people like Mr Petchell only go to jail for petty offences and only for short periods - so they don't get the benefit of the rehabilitation programs [in prison] ".
- If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) for advice or support, this free, confidential service is open 24/7.
- For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14.
- In an emergency, call the police on Triple-zero (000), all incidents of violence should be reported.