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Wollongong chef accused of assaulting girlfriend out on bail

A Wollongong chef accused of assaulting his girlfriend has been released on strict conditional bail.

Ben Cunningham, a chef at the Headlands Hotel, allegedly held a knife to his girlfriend’s throat during an assault that occurred at his West Wollongong home.

It is alleged the assault was triggered by an argument about a broken grill on the stove that escalated when Cunningham approached the woman from behind, grabbed her by her hair and dragged her into the kitchen.

The woman returned to the lounge where Cunningham allegedly kicked her in the stomach and head before he went back into the kitchen and picked up a large knife and held it against her throat after putting her in a headlock.

The woman sustained a 7cm laceration on her right thumb trying to defend herself, according to police.

The woman told police she began screaming and tried to stem the bleeding with a towel, while reaching for her phone to call triple-zero.

When the victim tried to call triple-zero, Cunningham allegedly told her "you don't need that [an ambulance], it serves you right for cutting yourself with my knife. You don't use them properly, that's what I'm going to tell the police."

Wollongong Local Court heard that "the victim believed the accused was going to cut her throat and put her hands up to try and stop him.”

When police arrived Cunningham allegedly told officers the victim had cut herself while using the knife on bread.

Cunningham has been granted strict bail and must comply with the conditions of an apprehended domestic violence order.



Sheridan Randall, 13th February 2020