Bjorn Wilson sentenced to seven years jail over domestic violence described as 'six years of hell'
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Binnu farmer Bjorn Andrew Wilson, 47, has been sentenced to seven years of prison after pleading guilty to seven domestic violence-related offences involving his former partner.
WARNING: This story contains details of violence that some readers may find distressing
The Geraldton Magistrates Court heard during a sentencing hearing on Thursday and Friday that the fourth-generation farmer simulated firing a shotgun near the woman, pressed a live drill into her skin, and strangled her unconscious in front of her daughter.
Since his arrest in 2021, Wilson had maintained he was not guilty of more than 40 charges and was due to stand trial in the District Court in Geraldton earlier this week.
But after negotiations between the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the defence counsel, Wilson pleaded guilty on Monday to seven offences, spanning from 2015 to 2020, including engaging in family violence, aggravated assault causing bodily harm and being armed in a way that causes fear.
An agreed summary of facts read to the court on Thursday on Friday detailed instances where Wilson swore at his partner and punched her repeatedly, causing bruising that was noticed by her friends.
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In a 2016 incident, Wilson pointed a drill at the woman's face as she was speaking, before pressing the drill into her back and turning it on.
A 2018 incident saw the woman's 13-year-old daughter pull Wilson off her mother as he strangled her unconscious.
In a 2019 incident, after she had hit a kangaroo with her car, Wilson told his ex-partner her that she had "better run", as he stormed out the back door, yelling and screaming, smashing items and throwing things.
The woman hid in a nearby paddock in fear, but with nowhere to go, she returned to the house later, where he slammed a glass tumbler into her face.
The agreed summary of facts detailed how, in 2020 at the end of their relationship, the woman returned to the rural property with her 11-year-old daughter to collect some of their belongings.
The couple got into an argument and Wilson took out a shotgun and cocked it.
Wilson then dry-fired the unloaded shotgun while it was pointed away from her.
In Wilson's sentencing, part of the survivor's victim impact statement was read to the court.
"Prior to meeting Bjorn Wilson, I lived a very quiet and normal life," she said.
"When the domestic violence started, I was shocked and had no idea what to do or where to go.
"I lived in isolation, alone, in fear, not only for myself but for my two young girls."
She said she felt helpless while calling a "1800 domestic violence line asking for help … hanging up as I had no idea how I would survive or live".
"I felt like there was no way out and I was trapped," the woman said.
She described her ordeal as living through "six years of hell".
Prosecutor Nick Cogin referred the judge to photos of the victim's injuries, including cuts and bruising.
He urged the judge to consider deterrence in his sentencing and highlighted the persistent nature of the offending.
"If you think about the way family violence happens, it happens behind closed doors and it's hidden from the community … and the victim has nowhere to go," Mr Cogin said.
Defence attorney Anthony Eyers agreed that the facts showed a series of violent physical assaults and a pattern of violence that had emerged and persisted.
He emphasised mitigating factors, including Wilson's rehabilitation, where he had been attending counselling, and his "deep remorse and deep regret".
In sentencing, Judge Martin Flynn outlined the survivor's physical and psychological vulnerability, especially given the offending occurred inside the home.
Wilson will be eligible for parole in five years.
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