ALCOHOL abuse and domestic violence are the two biggest scourges on the Tamworth community, according to the city’s magistrate.
Magistrate Roger Prowse made the comments amid a long list of sentences for criminal offences in Tamworth Local Court this week.
Assaults, intimidation, drink driving, and violence, fuelled by alcohol, littered the court list.
Something he says is the norm and happens everyday.
“The biggest epidemic in this community is domestic violence,” he told the court.
“The other epidemic is alcohol abuse."
Mr Prowse said much had been made about the ice epidemic in today’s society – which is said was a serious problem – but the attention on that issue had detracted from the community’s other problems.
“The so-called ice epidemic is not as widespread, it is a significant issue, I’m not being dismissive of it,” he said.
“But the two biggest scourges in our community are domestic violence and alcohol abuse.”
The experienced – and long-serving – judicial officer has presided over the bench in Tamworth court for more than seven years on and off – but has been a magistrate in the area intermittently since 1999.
But the two biggest scourges in our community is domestic violence and alcohol abuse.Magistrate Roger Prowse
He said he didn’t need to watch the documentaries on ice addictions or abuse that were on TV because it was right in front of him 24/7.
“I see it everyday,” he said. “This court sees it everyday.”
Just minutes before Mr Prowse had jailed a Tamworth woman for domestic violence assault on her partner.
He said the court didn’t “discriminate on gender” and while much of the offences seen were perpetrated by men, women “do commit domestic violence offences” and consequently the law demanded they be punished in the same way as their male counterparts.
More than 270 matters were listed before Tamworth Local Court this week.
On examination of the charges on the court list, more than 70 matters were domestic violence-related, more than 20 were drug-related charges, and even more of those were alcohol-related, whether it was a fail to quit a local hotel or drink driving offences, but not including other assaults which could be alcohol-fuelled.