Ex-lover takes woman's teenage son in a fit of rage
IN an explosive night in which cars were damaged, a house door forced open and the teenage son of his former lover grabbed and taken away, an apologetic David Strasburg has avoided jail - but only just.
Ipswich Magistrates Court heard that the friendship between Strasburg and his then-lover soured and in an ongoing dispute he went to her home with mates after a day of drinking, forced the front door open and demanded of the two teenage children inside to tell him where the woman was.
The frightening incident terrorised the children only hours away from Christmas Day.
Strasburg, 38, from Fernvale, pleaded guilty to assault; entering a dwelling and offending at Rosevale on December 23, 2017; deprivation of liberty - unlawfully detaining a boy aged 16; and causing wilful damage to two cars.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Matt Donnelly told the court a 13-year-old girl called triple-0 at 10.55pm that she woke to loud sounds of banging and saw five people inside her house who assaulted and took her brother away.
Police arrived at the Rosevale home at 11.20pm and saw a white Holden Commodore with smashed windows and a large dent in the driver's door of a green Hyundai.
He said blood was seen on the kitchen floor, the girl saying her brother had been "abducted" and going to a property at Morton Vale.
At midnight, police officers came across a Mitsubishi Triton ute with five people including the boy.
The boy alleged there had been a forced entry to his Rosevale house, saying Strasburg grabbed him by the throat.
"He says Strasburg told him to get into the vehicle and they all walked him out against his will," Sgt Donnelly said.
"He says he was fearful and complied with them and drove with the people to the property."
Magistrate Louise Shephard warned Strasburg she was considering a jail sentence, saying the matter was extremely serious.
Defence lawyer Zara Rudan said Strasburg had an on-off relationship with the woman for 12 months after his own wife absconded.
Ms Rudan said the catalyst for the offences was Strasburg's motorcycle being stolen and he had suspicions that the young man was at fault.
There had also been threats and banter between the people after the relationship ended.
Earlier that day Strasburg drove past the house and spoke to the woman at her car and moments later there had been a minor accident when their cars collided.
"That night he was camping with friends and received phone calls by her to come and sort it out," Ms Rudan said.
The court heard that the group forced their way into the house and although the boy appeared to be having a panic attack Strasburg still told him to get in the vehicle.
Ms Shephard said while intoxication may help explain the offending, it was not an excuse.
"At the end of the day you and others forced your way into the house and terrorised children," she said.
Strasburg was sentenced to nine months jail, immediately suspended for 18 months.