News

Ballina woman-basher phoned victim from prison

Benjamin James Cross has been given a lighter sentence on appeal after trying to influence his victim to change her testimony.
Benjamin James Cross has been given a lighter sentence on appeal after trying to influence his victim to change her testimony.

A BALLINA man rang his former girlfriend more than 100 times from Grafton Jail in an attempt to get her to change her testimony about him bashing her.

The barrage of phone calls earned Benjamin James Cross, then 32, a conviction for influencing a witness and a five-year jail sentence with no parole for three years.

But a successful appeal in the NSW Court of Appeal means he will now be eligible for parole after two years, with three years and six months as his total sentence.

Cross and his partner were in a violent relationship and living together in a caravan in West Ballina in 2013.

Cross was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and reckless wounding after assaulting his former partner at their caravan in April 2014.

He was refused bail and held in remand at the Grafton Correctional Centre until his scheduled court date the next month.

Cross called his former partner more than 100 times over a three-week period but many calls went unanswered.

"In a number of them, the offender either advised the victim to withdraw her statement, or alternatively to give false evidence in the proceedings, or otherwise not attend as a witness at the hearing," the statement of facts said.

"On several occasions, the offender would refer to the victim using the false name of 'Kate', instead of the victim's real name... in order avoid detection by Corrective Services."

Transcripts show Cross also phoned a male friend and suggested: "If she turns around and says 'nah, you know, I had psychotic episode and that's what happened... and the police just pressured me into saying, making a statement', well then I'll be let out on that day."

Justice Peter Garling said the original sentence was excessive, noting Cross had been a model prisoner since his arrest.

"There is no suggestion (Cross's) behaviour whilst in custody has been anything other than appropriate," he said.

Cross will be eligible for parole in April next year.

- ARM NEWSDESK

Topics:  ballina court domestic violence grafton correctional centre grafton jail


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Hemp fan reaps what he sows

Stall assistant Bubaloo Fahy at the Hemp Foods Australia stall at Mullumbimby Farmers' Market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Businessman and campaigner celebrates legalisation of hemp as food

Chance to clean up for dragons

Ballina-on-Richmond Rotarian Col Lee with the washing machines and dryers for sale.

Whitegoods the key to fundraising drive

Matthias transported at age 13

Matthias Isaac Lewis in his later years. He drowned, aged 69, in 1885. PHOTO: ANCESTRY.COM

Convict made the most of his new life in Australia

Local Partners

Refugee 'unfairly' sacked from Byron Bay Superfoods

Fair Work Commission labels company "vindictive" after Sudanese Civil war victim sacked for complaining about being underpaid.

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

A ballet event of lovers and fairies in Byron Bay

ON STAGE: Byron Ballet's 10th anniversary production will be Shakespeare's A Midnight Summer's Dream.

Byron Ballet celebrates 10 years

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

SUNSHINE Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice nearly saw her form a duo with her battle round opponent.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!