A man drove straight into his partner's back before driving over the top of her.
A man drove straight into his partner's back before driving over the top of her. Contributed

Drunk man mows down partner with ute, assaults bystander

A WOMAN watched a ute tyre roll past her face and tried to use her hand to drag herself from underneath the vehicle after her partner drove straight over the top of her in a "malicious" act of violence.

It was heard at Warwick District Court this week that William Thomas Potter was drunk when he drove into his partner's back as she stood by the side of the road and drove forwards until she was completely under the ute.

Crown Prosecutor Chontelle Farnsworth said Potter did not stop there: he then reversed back over the woman and stopped when his bullbar was just above her head.

But the shocking violence by the roadside in Texas in February last year still continued, the court heard.

Ms Farnsworth said when an innocent bystander arrived at the scene to offer assistance, with his teenage daughter and 11-year-old son in his car, Potter grabbed the man by the collar and shoved him into the bullbar of his ute.

"His daughter, who was a teenager at the time, was caused to intervene as a result of the defendant's conduct," Ms Farnsworth said.

Potter's partner was taken to hospital by a work colleague the next day and suffered a bulging disc in her back, bruising, soreness and a grazed leg.

Potter pleaded guilty to one count each of assault occasioning bodily harm whilst armed, common assault and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Ms Farnsworth said before the attacks occurred, Potter and his partner had been drinking heavily at a party and after she decided to walk home, partygoers heard him claim she'd been unfaithful.

"The defendant's conduct was deliberate, it was malicious and exceptionally violent," Ms Farnsworth said.

But defence barrister Stephen Kissick described the attack as a "very bad glitch" in an otherwise good relationship.

Mr Kissick said the couple's relationship remained in tact and they were caring for three children with plans to soon build a home at Texas.

"At 26 now, full time employment in a responsible position, which is probably the most important aspect of rehabilitation," Mr Kissick said.

The lawyer suggested Judge David Reid order Potter to serve a jail term, but release him on parole immediately.

However, due to Potter's "appalling" behaviour, Judge Reid ordered he serve time behind bars.

"Young men, I think this is particularly so in rural areas, who get drunk and drive cars dangerously and who resort to violence against their partners because of some perceived personal slight create dangers not only for their partners and themselves but for members of the community," the judge said.

Potter was sentenced to three years' jail but will be released on parole after four months. He was disqualified from driving for six months.