‘Help me before he kills us all’
A TERRIFIED woman has written to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk pleading for protection for her and her family, saying she does not want to "be the next Teresa Bradford''.
The woman fears her family will become the Gold Coast's next domestic violence tragedy.
She has urged Ms Palaszczuk to fix a court system she says grants bail to violent bikie partners, despite legislation that now allows provision for reversal of the onus of proof in bail bids in domestic violence cases.
In a lengthy personal email to the Premier, the mother wrote: "See, my husband made it very clear when holding guns and power tools to my head he would kill me if I ever said anything or tried to take his kids away.
"I write to you in fear of my life and that of my son and baby. I ask you to follow through on the promise of Not Now, Not Ever (the title of the 2015 domestic violence report) and respecting women.
"Please contact your ministers, your staff, the police, any and every authority - due to (the) failing system the next time you hear my name will be at a candlelit vigil held for my death from my husband.''
Then, referring to the death of a woman who was stabbed by her former partner when he broke into her Pimpama home in 2017 and then killed himself, she wrote:
"I do not want to be the next Teresa Bradford, I deserve a life … without fear. Your government encouraged me to speak up, I did, now I fear each day I will die."
Ms Bradford's death at the hands of her violent and mentally ill husband, after he had been released on bail, sparked a campaign by the Bulletin and Opposition LNP MP Ros Bates that led to DV reforms.
In her plea to the Premier, the Hinterland mother, in her 30s, compares herself to Ms Bradford because despite allegations of serious violence, her ex-partner continues to avoid custody.
She alleges having been "spat at, punched, slapped, had items of our home thrown at me, pushed into walls, my head slammed into doors". Attempts to strangle her had allegedly occurred on "multiple occasions" until the last time, when she feared dying.
"I am broken, crushed, afraid, terrified but I am a survivor for now, please allow us to survive, please help," she wrote.
The Premier's deputy chief of staff, in an emailed response on behalf of Ms Palaszczuk, asked the young mother to "please accept my sympathies for the painful experience you are enduring".
The domestic violence and family violence unit and the CIB had been in "close contact" and had developed a "safety plan", the Premier's deputy chief of staff wrote.
"Whilst it is acknowledged that the court process can be extremely difficult and stressful, the Government cannot intervene in court procedures or dictate to the courts how to deal with matters regardless of the circumstances involved."
The mother was advised "the decision to grant bail is a matter for the courts" and to obtain legal advice about a possible appeal.
The mother later wrote to Ms Bates about her "terror" after her husband fronted court on several charges including non-fatal strangulation, rape and assault with a weapon.
"He was bailed with once a week reporting - we still live in fear each and every day," she wrote.
Ms Bates put the woman in touch with support services that arranged for a personal alarm system.
"When she came to me she had absolutely nothing. If we had a one-stop trauma centre all the services would be wrapped around there," Ms Bates said.
She and emergency service workers believed the case highlighted the difference between some courts and the tougher specialist DV courts at Southport, where bail was likely to have been refused.
A spokesman for Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said Ms D'Ath could not comment on specifics of the case, but repeated the Premier's comments that the new laws allowed for "reverse onus of proof" and victims were alerted if an accused was released.
The mother told the Bulletin: "It's not the police's fault. I have a safety watch and I'm GPS monitored 24/7. But it's now at the point where I'm being followed by him and his affiliates. As the court case continues, he becomes more aggressive."