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Man drunk and high on meth threatened to cut out partner’s tongue

Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Feb 2023, 10:33am
Photo / Nick Reed
Photo / Nick Reed

Man drunk and high on meth threatened to cut out partner’s tongue

Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Feb 2023, 10:33am

A man who was drunk and high on methamphetamine held a knife to his partner’s throat and told her he was going to cut her tongue out, a court heard last week.

Justin David Gonscak, 46, of Woodlands, appeared for sentence before Judge Russell Walker in the Invercargill District Court last week.

He admitted a breach of protection order, threatening grievous bodily harm and assault of a person in a family relationship in Invercargill on August 27 last year.

Judge Walker said Gonscak was at home while his partner was out working and became angry after reading messages between his partner and her ex-boyfriend on her cellphone, which she had left at home.

He told others at the house he was going out to get alcohol to save himself from smashing his partner’s face.

When his partner arrived home from work at 5.30am the next day, he took a hunting knife out of the wardrobe next to the bed.

Judge Walker said during the following four hours, the victim was unable to leave due to the actions of the defendant and the fact the defendant had possession of the knife.

On two occasions he pulled her head back — during the latter occasion, he put the knife to her throat and threatened to cut her tongue out.

He told her he was going to kill her and also held the knife to her stomach and verbally abused her.

During the incident she thought she was going to die, Judge Walker said.

She finally managed to leave the room when she believed he was asleep.

It was another person in the house who managed to alert police to what was happening, Judge Walker said.

As a result of the attack, the victim received bruising to her arms.

Gonscak downplayed the event to the police. He said he was intoxicated and angry, but did not mention the knife.

While on electronically monitored bail after the attack, Gonscak absconded and continued to associate with the victim despite court orders. As a result, he was remanded in custody.

Despite his actions, Gonscak’s partner was in court yesterday supporting him.

“This is not the way you treat someone who supports you and relies on you,” Judge Walker said.

Defence counsel Hugo Young said Gonscak and his partner had taken part in restorative justice, which had had a very positive outcome.

“The defendant and victim both have a commitment and desire — they have a plan going forward to sort this all out,” he said.

Judge Walker said that during the restorative justice process, Gonscak acknowledged he had been drinking and using methamphetamine at the time of his offending.

Given that Gonscak had been on electronically monitored bail and on remand in custody, it would only be a month or so away from a time-served situation.

“I see little purpose in imposing a sentence that will inevitability, in the facts of this case, see your return to the family home without supports in place.”

Gonscak was sentenced to 12 months’ intensive supervision with judicial monitoring.

- Karen Pasco, ODT

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