Geelong man Matthew Donohue saved from jail for “cowardly” baseball bat attack

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After a dispute with his current ex-partner, a Victorian man carried out a “cowardly and savage” attack on a woman holding a baseball bat.

A Victorian man who used a baseball bat to attack a woman “cowardly and brutally” has been spared from prison.

On Monday, Matthew Donohue was sentenced to a community corrections order in the Victoria County Court after admitting to intentionally causing harm.

The 30-year-old man admitted that he attacked the 44-year-old woman with a baseball bat in the suburb of Geelong, west of Melbourne, in February 2017.

“This is a cowardly and savage attack,” Judge Carolene Gwynn said at the sentencing.

After Donohue’s then-partner had an argument with the victim earlier in the day, the brutal attack was carried out for “retaliation.”

Subsequently, the 25-year-old man threw a stone at the victim’s window and was chased by her friend.

When the victim waited on the sidewalk, Donohue walked towards her with a baseball bat.

She tried to escape but was attacked when she tripped and lay on the ground.

“If you are going to hit my wife and my son, I will hit you,” Donohue told the victim during the attack.

The woman had broken nose, orbital fractures and other fractures, as well as wounds on her face and forearms.

The court learned that he fled the scene and his former partner heard him say “I think I have killed her.”

Donohue’s partner gave him an alibi but later withdrew it. He was arrested after returning from Queensland in March 2020.

Judge Gwen called the attack “unforgivable.”

She spared Donohue to jail, but he was ordered to implement a two-year community corrections order, including community services, drug and alcohol treatment, and behavior planning.

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