Speargun attacker jailed for a decade

A Melbourne man who shot his partner in the face at point-blank range with a speargun will spend at least a decade behind bars.

The 48-year-old, who cannot be named, pointed the weapon at his partner's face and shot her between the eyes in what County Court Judge Susan Cohen on Thursday called a "wholly selfish, cruel and callous" act.

The woman survived the July 2016 attack but is now blind in her left eye and battles a constant stream of tears from a damaged tear duct.

The speargun assault, which lodged a 1.6 metre spear in her head, was the final in a string of domestic violence incidents that began when the woman moved in with her partner in 2013.

Judge Cohen said the man kept her in the house living under threats of violence, on one occasion holding up a chicken, slicing its throat and telling her he'd do the same to her family if she ever left him.

She left him and took out an intervention order after an assault later that year that put her in hospital.

The pair didn't see each other for almost two years, until he visited her in hospital after surgery in October 2015.

Two months later they moved back in together and Judge Cohen said he again began to control her movements, becoming angry after changing his mind about letting her visit her daughter in April 2016.

Judge Cohen said when she returned home from the visit, he pushed her into a table, slapped her and dragged her by her hair to the bedroom where he threw her on the bed and raped her three times.

He also threatened to rape her young son unless she dropped the intervention order against him.

In July 2016, the violence escalated. While the victim was sitting on a couch at home the man picked up a speargun, pointed it at her face in close range and shot a spear through her face.

It entered through her left eye socket and lodged in her head, with the tip coming out behind her left ear.

The woman's eyeball was pushed to the side and facial bones were fractured.

She was conscious and in extreme pain until paramedics put her in an induced coma and rushed her to hospital.

Judge Cohen said since then, she'd faced the most difficult two years of her life.

The woman, who watched proceedings via videolink, sobbed as Judge Cohen sentenced the man to 15 years and eight months behind bars for multiple offences including rape, intentionally causing serious injury and threat to kill.

He must serve at least 10 years and 10 months before becoming eligible for parole.

The man, who was already a convicted sex offender, has now been placed on the register and will have to report his whereabouts for life.

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