Judge slams Gympie strangler a ‘coward’
A SOUTHSIDE man who strangled his partner three times and fired an arrow at a group of people has been slammed in court as a "coward" and "stupid" for his reckless behaviour.
Thirty-one-year-old Steven Cumner has fronted Gympie District Court over multiple incidents between April and July, several which left deep bruising on his victim's neck.
The first incident happened during a fight between the pair; he pinned her against the wall with both hands around her neck.
Crown prosecutor Lara Soldi told the court the second happened after Cumner became "displeased" with how loud the woman was being while playing with a child in a nearby room.
He verbally abused the woman in front of the child, calling her a "dirty s---", and then grabbed her by the throat with both hands.
These marks "lasted for days", Ms Soldi said.
The last incident happened when Cumner "expressed rage that there was no tobacco left". He again called her a "s---" in front of the child.
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He told police this was a "minor" argument tied to tobacco withdrawals.
Cumner's lawyer told the court her client had a history of drug use.
Cumner pleaded guilty to all three strangulation charges; he also pleaded guilty to a weapons charge after he fired an arrow at a group of people arguing outside his Southside home on May 23.
The arrow missed the group by 4m and embedded itself 10cm in the ground on impact.
Cumner hid the bow in the roof and then called police himself when two men from the group began bashing on his door.
He first lied to police, saying he simply threw the arrow at the group, before finally surrendering the weapon, admitting his skill with the weapon "was not the best".
Ms Soldi said the fact Cumner was a "terrible shot" made the arrow a bigger threat as where it would land was "wildly unpredictable".
Judge Glen Cash lambasted Cumner for his behaviour, saying his willingness to abuse his partner verbally and physically with children in the house "says a lot about the sort of man he is".
Mr Cash also took Cumner to task over apologetic text messages he sent to the victim which "really seem to be you trying to excuse your actions".
"Like so many cowards, you're unwilling to accept your behaviour," Mr Cash said.
Mr Cash also criticised Cumner for "stupidly" firing the arrow.
Cumner was sentenced to two years and nine months jail with a parole release date of June 15, next year, owing to 128 days already served.