ACT News


Woman denies fabricating attack

The alleged victim of a violent home invasion by her former husband has denied fabricating the incident to win a bitter custody dispute.

Mark Leslie Anderson has appeared before the ACT Supreme Court on charges relating to the use of an offensive weapon, threatening to kill another person, burglary, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and breaching a protection order. But the former police officer has pleaded not guilty to all five counts and his lawyer, Bernard Collaery, said his case would be a ''credit issue''.

Anderson is accused of attacking his former wife with a makeshift electrical device at a home in Farrer in June 2010. He then allegedly used an extension cord to try to strangle her and his hand to try to suffocate her.

Catherine Green gave evidence on Monday in the judge-only trial before Chief Justice Terence Higgins. She said the couple split in 2009 and a domestic violence order had been issued in May the following year.

The court heard the complainant had been working at a computer about 1.30pm when she heard a noise and turned to find Anderson in the home. The alleged victim said her assailant was wearing work overalls and thick rubber gloves and holding a Taser-like weapon he had put together using an electrical cord and metal.

When asked what he was doing, Anderson is alleged to have replied: ''I'm going to kill you.''


Ms Green told the court Anderson grabbed her wrist and drove the device into her hand, drawing blood. During the ensuing struggle, the alleged victim fell onto the lounge where the accused then allegedly tried to choke her with the cord. He is then alleged to have straddled the complainant and attempted to suffocate her by covering her nose and mouth with his hand.

The court heard Anderson then told Ms Green he loved her, that he was going to kill her and then kill himself. ''I couldn't breathe … I thought it was all over,'' she said.

The alleged assault ended when she pleaded for her life and asked Anderson to think of their four children.

During cross-examination, Mr Collaery alleged Ms Green lured Anderson to the house under the pretext of fixing faulty wiring. He told the court his client had not wanted to breach the court order but agreed after Ms Green said she would be at work.

But the complainant arrived home while Anderson was working. The defence claimed she made the defendant a cup of tea.

The court heard Ms Green then screamed at Anderson and attacked him, repeatedly striking him. Mr Collaery said the accused had been holding a voltmeter at the time and Ms Green punctured her hand on it when he raised his hands to defend himself.

''You tricked this man into coming to your home so you could set him up and beat the family law order, didn't you?'' Mr Collaery said. ''You concocted the idea.'' Ms Green denied the allegations.

The trial continues on Tuesday.