Last week of Chase Douglas, who has admitted assaulting his girlfriend three times including choking her, sought a discharge without conviction for the assaults; because he claims a criminal record will impede his ability to perform overseas.
Douglas’s lawyer said his client accepted his guilt and was remorseful for his actions and offered $500 in emotional harm as well as completing a Living Without Violence programme.
According to the Fairfax report he also wrote a letter to the court accepting that what he did was out of line and that “violence is not the way to solve things”.
His ex-girlfriend has reported she now finds it hard to sleep, and suffers regular nightmares. She is constantly afraid someone will break into her flat or that she will bump into Douglas again.
I find it hard to believe that he has honestly accepted the consequences of his actions if he is seeking a discharge without conviction. I find it hard to believe that he has honestly accepted the consequences of his actions if he is saying an impediment to his ability to perform overseas would be too harsh a consequence for causing physical and emotional harm to his partner.
The reporting has made it very clear that his ex-partner is suffering on-going significant consequences. It doesn’t seem balanced to me to suggest that his consequences be limited to attending a 13 week course and offering up $500.
Violence against women happens across all income brackets and status levels and we need to have a consistent message that it’s not ok. Sentences should not be decided on the basis of your status as a business leader, newsreader, opera singer or unemployed person.