Mercanti jailed for almost seven years
Troy Mercanti changed his plea after his mum gave evidence against him.
Notorious Perth bikie Troy Mercanti has been sentenced to almost seven years' jail for a 16-year reign of domestic abuse against his former partner Tammy Kingdon.
Mercanti, 45, had initially pleaded not guilty to five charges, including inflicting grievous bodily harm on Ms Kingdon, after she went to police with allegations of abuse in January 2012.
But on Monday, two weeks into his trial and after Ms Kingdon endured more than three days of a brutal cross examination, Mercanti changed his pleas for all but one charge to guilty.
Tammy Kingdon suffered a 16 year period of violent abuse at the hands of her ex-partner.
The remaining charge was discontinued.
Ms Kingdon, 36, suffered 16 years of violent abuse at the hands of her ex-partner, which started shortly after the then teenage skimpy met him at a bar in Kalgoorlie in the mid 1990s.
During the two-week trial Mercanti's lawyers had branded her "a liar and an actress" as she laid out the harrowing details of a violent relationship, which included being made to lie in a dog bed and bark like a dog.
The abuse started when Mercanti punched Ms Kingdon to the face after chasing her around a Bunbury hotel in 1997, leaving her with a fractured eye.
If the injury had been left untreated Ms Kingdon could have suffered permanent damage to her sight, the District Court of WA heard.
She spent a week in hospital receiving treatment.
Over the years other beatings and degradations followed, leaving Ms Kingdon with various fractured ribs, black eyes and soft tissue damage.
Ms Kingdon finally took the couple's two sons and left Mr Mercanti in January 2012 when she realised the abuse was never going to end, the court heard.
In a victim impact statement, parts of which were read out in court, Ms Kingdon said she knew why "women don't report domestic violence".
"Giving evidence at this trial has been a long and harrowing process for me, devastating," she wrote.
Ms Kingdon said after a "traumatic" 16-year relationship with Mercanti she still felt at times "not good enough".
The court heard of how Ms Kingdon had lived in constant fear that the next attack could be her last.
"We made the painstaking decision to leave our friends and family and the only life we knew," she wrote.
Mercanti was almost prepared to change his plea after watching his former partner humiliated under cross examination, defence barrister Colin Lovitt QC told the court.
But the decision to change his plea came later, after his mother gave evidence against her "imperfect" son on Friday.
She testified to seeing him punch Ms Kingdon in the face at a Christmas lunch in 2006.
On Wednesday, District Court Judge Simon Stone sentenced Mercanti to a total jail term of six years and 10 months, backdated to his arrest on March 3, 2012.
With parole Mercanti could be released after serving about three further years in custody.
Judge Stone said Mercanti had an "obvious propensity for violence" and had shown no remorse for the crimes against Ms Kingdon.
"You beat her without mercy Mr Mercanti," Judge Stone said.
"You are a coward."
He urged those responsible for Ms Kingdon's safety and welfare to protect her.
"I believe you pose a significant risk to her life and safety," Judge Stone said.
Judge Stone made a point of explaining to Mercanti that his sentence was in no way a punishment for his involvement with motorcycle clubs, a point that had also been made by prosecutor Justin Whalley.
"He's not to be punished for being Troy Mercanti," he said.
"He's to be punished as a criminal offender who's enacted a series of cowardly, brutal and unprovoked assaults against a defenceless woman, smaller than himself."
Judge Stone said a strong message also needed to be sent to the community about "prevalent" family violence.
"It will not be tolerated," he said.