Mark Natoli faces an extra three years in prison for subjecting woman to terrifying, nine-hour ordeal where, amid 'furious abuse and violence', he threatened her with a home-made pen pistol. Photo: Scott Barbour
A bikie gang member who believed that his partner was having an affair, has had his jail sentence extended by three years after he threatened to kill her with a home-made pen pistol, choked her and used a pillow to try to suffocate her.
Mark Natoli, 31, was originally jailed for just five months and given an 18-month community corrections order (CCO) but the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed, describing the sentence as manifestly inadequate.
Court of Appeal Justices Robert Osborn, Simon Whelan and David Beach on Friday agreed, and re-sentenced Natoli to 3½ years in jail with a non-parole period of 2¼ years.
"In our view, her Honour [the sentencing judge] gave too much weight to the importance of rehabilitation in the circumstances of this case," the appeal judges said.
"The offending was too serious for a combined prison sentence and a CCO, given the respondent's criminal history."
Natoli had pleaded guilty in the County Court to a number of charges including using a listening device, assault, false imprisonment, making a threat to kill, intentionally damaging property, being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, and possession of cartridge ammunition without a licence or permit.
In her victim impact statement, Natoli's partner, known as MB, told how being subjected to the terrifying nine-hour ordeal in her home on November 2, 2014, had been "horrific and life-changing".
She said the ordeal had affected every area of her life and while the physical bruising and pain from the incident had healed, the emotional scars remained.
"It has been almost nine months since the incident, yet not a day goes by that I don't suffer and think about what happened that night," she said.
"Whether it be distressing flashbacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, horrific nightmares, vulnerability, trouble sleeping and general insecurity, I feel I have been forced to suffer a lifelong sentence of pain and suffering.
"In this day and age, no one should be forced to suffer at the hands of domestic violence and live what I have lived.
"I know I am very fortunate to have the love and support of my family who have helped me immensely and without them I truly don't know where I would be today."
The appeal judges said Natoli's threat to kill his partner had been explicit and was accompanied by furious abuse and violence after he had earlier threatened her with the pistol and told her it was loaded.
"The common law assault encompassed numerous acts of violence including the brandishing of the firearm, squeezing MB's throat and grabbing her jaw and face, placing a pillow over her face on repeated occasions, and placing his hand over her mouth and nose so she could not breathe while saying 'Don't think I won't suffocate you, you c--t'," the judges said.
"These were all serious instances of the offences charged. They were committed upon the respondent's domestic partner, in her own home, where she was, as senior counsel for the DPP submitted, entitled to feel safe."
The appeal judges said Natoli had suffered significant tragedy in his childhood, including seeing his mother die in a car accident when he was six.
He had subsequently lived with his father, who had problems with alcohol and spent time in prison, and when he was 12 was shot in the chest by a school friend.
Natoli left school when aged about 16 or 17, worked briefly as a builder's labourer but began abusing drugs and ended up joining an un-named bikie gang in 2011 whose members later threatened to kill him.