Cairns police say they are “very concerned” by a domestic violence incident in which a woman was allegedly strangled to near-unconsciousness before she was forced to hide in a cane paddock for an hour while an armed man known to her hunted her.
Acting Detective Inspector Kevin Goan said officers were called to a property in Wrights Creek at 4am on Tuesday and arrested a 27-year-old man.
Police allege the man strangled a 20-year-old woman with “significant force” to her throat until she was “virtually unconscious”. The man had previously been in a relationship with the woman, police said.
“When she made good, she escaped into nearby cane paddocks … The gentleman has sought her out in a motor vehicle armed with a knife,” Inspector Goan said.
“It is a concern (to us). Strangulation is likely to lead to significant injury and on occasion death.
“The fact that he was very driven to seeking out his victim who had taken shelter within a cane paddock (is also of concern).”
“There is no doubt in my mind she was terrified. This gentleman was armed with a knife and was very motivated in seeking her out.”
The woman is said to have hid in the paddock for an hour before she emerged and was immediately taken to Cairns Base Hospital.
“She’s clearly very shaken by the ordeal … but she is well,” Inspector Goan said.
“There were other witnesses present who had been there for a social engagement. They were preparing to leave at about 4am when this attack occurred.”
The man was due to face Cairns Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with one count of assault occasioning in bodily harm, strangulation, and common assault. He was also charged with four counts of breaching a domestic violence order.
Inspector Goan refused to say there was an “epidemic” of domestic violence in the far north but admitted police were vigilant after noticing more incidents.
“We’re working in with other agencies to make sure other people who are victims are supported and given avenues to remove themselves from these situations,” he said.
“There are a number of resources within the community and we enjoy the relationships we have with them.”