A 56-year-old drug user who denies beating his ex-partner bloody and threatening to hang her should be bailed to live in the community because of the coronavirus, a defence lawyer has told a court.
The accused man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was phoned into the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday from the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC).
He previously pleaded not guilty to six charges, including two counts of recklessly making threats to kill, two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and one count of unlawfully confining his ex-partner.
Police documents previously tendered to the court said the man woke his sleeping ex-partner at his Kambah home about 12pm on February 8, before he accused her of sleeping with someone else.
It's alleged what ensued was a bloodying five-hour ordeal, in which the man punched the woman in the head, back and arms several times, and burnt her with an ice pipe after heating it with a jet lighter.
The documents said the man told his ex-partner he was going to "put a bullet" in her children's heads, hang her, and that he ought to get a gun and put her out of her "misery".
The man allegedly told the woman he had a Glock handgun in his back shed, and that she wasn't going to leave the house until she was "disfigured".
Prosecutor Elizabeth Wren on Wednesday said the accused man's alleged victim was only able to escape his attack by "running down the street", where the documents said she spoke to a neighbour.
Ms Wren said the allegation the man burnt his ex-partner with an ice pipe was of particular concern.
"It involves an element of what colloquially might be considered torture," she said.
Defence lawyer Darryl Perkins told the court the coronavirus pandemic made prison populations "quite vulnerable". He said the accused man had an "increased susceptibility" to contracting the virus while he was in jail, and he had back, neck and spinal injuries.
"[The accused man's] health is only fair ... he complains to me fairly regularly that other prisoners [in the AMC] hurt him and assault him," Mr Perkins said.
He said if the accused man was granted bail to live with a nominated family member, he would steer clear of his alleged victim and his family would not put up with any drug use.
The documents said the accused man was coming down from using methamphetamine when he was arrested over the alleged incident on February 9.
Magistrate James Lawton refused the accused man bail on grounds including that his alleged crimes were "particularly serious". He noted that the prosecution conceded the AMC's ban on visitors because of the coronavirus made jail time more onerous.
There is still no evidence anyone in the jail has been infected with COVID-19.
Our COVID-19 news articles relating to public health and safety are free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. If you're looking to stay up to date on COVID-19, you can also sign up for our twice-daily digest here.