Man's terror campaign against ex from inside jail

A GOLD Coast mum was forced off the road by her former partner after he followed her through the streets of Helensvale in an ongoing attack which included choking and threats made from prison, court has heard.

The woman had her young son in the car when Jonathan Brian Agnew Austin forced her into a street light so hard the pole fell over.

The Southport District Court was told the horror chase came just four days after Austin had, on February 22 last year, beaten the woman in her home, choking her before threatening her and forcing her into a car.

He forced her into the back seat with her son, but when she screamed for help, forced her to drive to the hospital. Austin then suddenly got out at a set of traffic lights.

Police arrested Austin after the crash in Helensvale but he continued to terrorise his former partner.

Crown prosecutor Natalie Lima said Austin called the woman from prison making threats to force her to change part of her statement to police.

Ms Lima said the man threatened on one call: "She would have to be running and hide really well because there would be pieces of you."

She said in another call the man said the reason she was not in hospital was because of him.

Ms Lima said the threats were enough for the woman to go to police and change parts of her statement. She said after the changes were made Austin called her "perfect". Austin yesterday pleaded guilty to multiple charges including unlawful stalking, choking, attempting to pervert the courts of justice and assault occasioning bodily harm.

Judge Michael Rackemann sentenced him to three and a half years prison with parole eligibility yesterday.

Austin has already spent more than one year and one month in custody.

Austin's barrister Nick McGhee, instructed by Ashkan Tai Lawyers, said Austin and his partner had been together on and off for about 15 months.

He said Austin was stressed having lost his Beenleigh home after the floods from ex-cyclone Debbie in 2017.

Mr McGhee said Austin had witnessed domestic violence as a child.