Magistrate had to explain assault to abusive husband

A WARWICK magistrate has been forced to explain to an abusive husband what "assault" means.

The man appeared confused as he told the magistrate he didn't "hit" his wife, just "pushed her out of the way".

The court heard the Warwick man and his wife had been arguing in front of their daughter, when she dropped a cup of coffee and it spilt on the floor.

The man pushed his wife out of the way, saying he wanted to "clean it up".

"I just pushed her out of the way and she said I assaulted her," the man said.

Magistrate Anne Thacker told the man he was wrong. 

"That is assault," she said.

The man had two previous domestic violence breaches on his record, something Magistrate Thacker noted in her sentencing.

"Evidence shows that yelling at people escalates to pushing people, which escalates to hurting people," she said.

"Children shouldn't be looking at the behaviour... they should be looking at fathers who say, 'oh dear, look what's happened, I'll help you clean it up'," she said.

The man was sentenced to three months jail, which was wholly suspended.

*For 24-hour support  phone Queensland's DVConnect on 1800 811 811 or MensLine on 1800 600 636, NSW's  Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 or the  national hotline 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).