Sydney sadomasochist jailed after choking woman during sex

Source: AAP

Sydney man Leigh James Pattinson has been jailed for at least 18 months after being found guilty of choking a woman during a sadomasochistic sex session until she passed out.

Australian court (file photo).

On Friday, Judge Mark Buscombe issued a total jail sentence of two-and-a-half years after finding Pattinson choked his victim, known as DW, despite her using a safe word to indicate that she did not want to continue.

"An offence of choking a person to the point of unconsciousness is a very serious offence," the District Court judge said.

In a sexual encounter in August 2019, Pattinson knew DW was in pain and bleeding but still grabbed her throat and choked her despite her cries that she could not breathe.

Living in Dubai with his then partner while working as a production director, Pattinson regularly met up with DW on trips back to Sydney where the two formed a sexual relationship.

The couple's BDSM sessions included Pattinson taking the dominant role where he would forcefully push DW, grab her hair, choke her and force her into painful sexual positions. DW consented to this due to her fetish for pain and being degraded.

Pattinson was charged with seven counts of sexual intercourse without consent, one count of enticing DW to touch him sexually without her consent, and one count of choking her to the point she passed out.

In April this year, Judge Buscombe cleared Pattinson of all but one charge, finding him guilty of choking DW.

On Friday, DW read out a statement describing the wide-ranging impact of the incident.

"The effect of the assault from Leigh has affected every single aspect of my life - work, relationships, family, financially, personally, emotionally, and definitely mentally," she said.

DW said she had been taking sleeping medication to stop nightmares, had resorted to drinking heavily to self-medicate and had attempted suicide.

She told the court she lost her job and her house because anxiety meant she could not perform well at work and had to borrow funds to pay her rent as a result of the attack.

She said she hoped to get closure from the court proceedings and that Pattinson would learn from what he had done.

"I do know and hope that Leigh realises the severity of his behaviour and that he never commits this act again because I fear that the next victim may not be as strong as I have had to be."

Where to get help.

On Friday, Pattinson's lawyer Patrick Schmidt said his client had now learned what consent meant, and would no longer be engaging in these types of BDSM activities.

"He's got a very deep insight in it to the point where he does not want to partake in this sort of behaviour anymore," Schmidt said.

The lawyer said the incident was very different to a typical domestic violence situation, and pointed out that Pattinson's family now knew of what he had done thanks to media coverage of the case.

Crown prosecutor Emma Curran told the court that Pattinson should receive a discounted sentence because he offered to plead guilty to the choking charge in March last year if the other charges were dropped.

Days after the assault, DW presented to the hospital with bruising on her thighs, genitals, neck and breasts, and bleeding in her eye caused by a burst blood vessel.

In delivering the sentence, Judge Buscombe took into account Pattinson's lack of prior criminal history, his remorse for what had occurred, character references from his family members and his good prospects of rehabilitation.

However, the judge still imposed jail time, saying that these incidents of domestic violence should be deterred.

Pattinson will be eligible for parole on November 26, 2024.