HE PUNCHED her three times in the face and, when she begged him to stop, he hit her again so hard she collapsed to the floor of their bedroom.
Lying there defenceless she pulled her knees to her chest as he hurled a television at her.
But he didn't stop there.
When she tried to confront him, the enraged man swung a golf club at her, hitting her arm with such force that it left a gash deep enough to require 16 stitches.
She was hospitalised for two nights. It could have been worse if a neighbour hadn't intervened after hearing her screams.
And yet despite the brutality, the 48-year-old offender was not remorseful.
Only seven months later, in May 2015, she successfully applied for a variation of the apprehended violence order that had been taken out against him.
They had started their relationship again, and were living together in Goonellabah.
And the very same day they were legally allowed to be close to each other, they argued again.
This time he swung her around by the same arm he had wounded, then locked her up, heaving a heavy mattress against the door of the lounge room to stop her getting out.
She had to urinate in a bucket before managing to escape by breaking a window screen and using sheets as a makeshift rope.
He still refused to take responsibility for his violent behaviour.
At his sentencing this week in the Lismore District Court, Judge L. Wells said the offender was manipulative, aggressive, insulting and "devoid of any remorse" when he phoned his victim while on remand and told her exactly what she needed to do to have the charges dropped.
For that phone call he pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice.
He also pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, detaining a person to obtain advantage, and contravening an AVO.
The father of eight, or nine, children by two or three different women had an extensive criminal record including prior domestic violence.
Judge Wells noted the Goonellabah man, a disabled pensioner, had a keen interest in Aboriginal justice matters.
He had received a "secure upbringing" with an absence of family violence.
The couple had claimed to have a "solid" relationship and were committed to reviving the relationship after the horrible episode.
But the offender's pre-sentencing report contained some incriminating revelations into his behaviour.
It noted violence was a "recurring feature" of his domestic relationships, he had limited insight and remorse, and a "propensity to blame the victim for conflicts that occur".
He had been reported saying he was "locked up because of her lies" and was only pleading guilty for a sentencing discount.
Judge Wells said the man had shown a "consistent disregard" for the victim and described the attacks as "cruel and merciless".
"He must have known that it was wrong. It wasn't just once, it went on and on," Judge Wells said.
He was deemed at "medium risk" of reoffending but Judge Wells noted the risk could be greater, and in terms of rehabilitation the court must have a "very guarded" view.
She sentenced the now 50-year-old to an aggregate sentence of four years and 11 months in jail.
With time already served, he will be eligible for parole in January 2019.
The Northern Star has chosen not to publish the offender's name to protect the identity of his victim.
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