A 59-year-old Chifley man charged with assaulting his wife allegedly let the woman out of the home only to go to English classes, a court has heard.
The woman at one point grabbed a knife and said "if you kill me, I will kill you" in an attempt to protect herself, court documents said.
The case was one of six matters involving some kind of family violence heard in the ACT Magistrates Court on Boxing Day, from an unusually large Saturday list of 12. One of the six cases involved alleged violence against a brother, another a mother's alleged breach of an order protecting her son.
The Chifley incident involved a woman claiming her husband hit her in the stomach with a closed fist on Christmas Day. The night before, an argument led him to take her mobile phone from her, court documents described.
Court documents stated the woman had told police her husband grabbed a chair after the punch, at which point she grabbed the knife and made the threat.
A witness had heard a person in the couple's home, who he believed to be the woman, twice yell "why did you punch me?" at 11pm on Christmas evening.
A police constable told the court police had received information that the wife had told a dinner companion she was kept captive in her home by her husband, with her calls and text messages monitored, and was allowed to leave the home only to go to English classes as her visa required. Police received the information in November last year but no charges were laid.
The defendant had attended Woden police station at 12.12am on Boxing Day morning and asked police to remove his wife from the home. After being told twice to wait for police to speak to him, the man allegedly told police "do I have to kill her to do something, I want her out".
He was charged shortly before 1am with assault and observed to be strongly under the influence of alcohol.
The duty defence lawyer said the defendant denied making the claimed "...kill her" statement. He said the defendant had been on Skype when he saw the wife putting the knife to his neck. A family violence order put in place around the time of the captivity claim had never been breached, he said.
The prosecutor told the court the woman was vulnerable in the "hostile" relationship, with poor English and no connections in the community, and would be in danger if her husband was released on bail.
No pleas were entered.
Magistrate Bernadette Boss refused bail. The matter returns to court on January 19.