A PAPUA New Guinean obstetrician in Darwin, Australia who brutally beat his wife in hospital staff accommodation was sentenced to just over six hours in the court’s custody last week.
John Lewa Opa pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault in Darwin magistrates court.
The court heard he was stressed over long hours at the hospital when an argument between him and his wife started over dirty dishes when she returned from an overnight shift as a career.
Crown prosecutor Amanda Nobbs said he became angry when his wife told him she was “not your mother” while doing the dishes about 9.30am on July 21.
Their two young children watched as Opa belted his wife 10 times in the head and face until she ran from the unit yelling: “Help, help, my eye is broken.”
A neighbour followed her back inside, and Opa said: “It’s just a domestic.”
The neighbour left to call hospital security, and, as his wife was calling the police, Opa punched her again and then kicked her about five times in the abdomen.
After the neighbour called hospital security and returned, Opa’s wife was lying outside the house and had wet herself because she was so scared.
Opa’s lawyer Alan Woodcock said Opa was in Australia working on qualifications to take back to Papua New Guinea. Mr Woodcock said his client had been stressed over his long working hours.
“He’s spent his whole life endeavouring to (better) his people and himself, especially the health of women,” Mr Woodcock said.
Magistrate Greg Cavanagh said the assault could not be trivialised as “just a domestic.”
“The community would be outraged if you were to be treated with simply a slap over the wrist for a brutal assault – especially when committed in front of children,” he said.
Mr Cavanagh sentenced Opa to three months in jail, but suspended it on the rising on the court. – Northern Territory News