A pregnant mum has been captured on terrifying CCTV footage being brutally bashed before her tormentor crashes his car through the front of a service station as she attempts to hide from him.
Didier Lam Kee Shau, 38, of Coburg in northern Melbourne knew his victim was 18 weeks pregnant when he bashed her.
The sickening attack happened in the early hours of September 17 last year after the pair attended Shau’s niece’s first communion celebration in Carrum Downs – in Melbourne’s southeast.
Harrowing CCTV footage taken from the Caltex service station on Blackburn Road, Glen Waverley, caught the woman’s desperate attempts to escape Shau.
Footage shows the car door fling open and the bloody woman run for the service station doors.
‘Help me please,’ she shouted. The attendant would later tell police he was in such a state of panic that he couldn’t remember the triple-zero number to call police.
Video captured Shau repeatedly punching the woman to the ground before dragging her by the hair and pounding her head into the ground repeatedly.
At one point she is seen rolling into a ball and trying to protect her baby. ‘I’m probably going to die today,’ she thought. Eventually, the attendant managed to open the door and she staggered inside.
Shau tried to get in as the battered woman crawled to a fridge to hide. He is seen walking back to the Honda SUV where he gets in and lines up the attendant’s booth.
Shau puts his foot down and crashes the car through the wall, sending the attendant flying back into cupboards in an explosion of debris. Miraculously, he sustained only minor injuries.
When police arrested Shau he refused to be breathalysed. He claimed he couldn’t remember any of what he’d just done to the woman, or the $93,954 worth of damage he did to the service station when he crashed his car into it.
The court heard Shau started drinking whiskey earlier in the evening, and by midnight he was drunk and angry. The woman would later tell police she wasn’t quite sure why, but she saw his relatives trying to calm him down.
She convinced him to get in the car so she could drive him home. At one point during their trip, Shau accused her of speeding. She looked at the speedo and pointed out that she was doing 80kmh in a 100kmh zone.
‘I don’t f–kin care,’ Shau yelled. ‘You’re being a big woman arguing with me. You don’t f–king argue with me. You understand.’
He then punched her in the face three times. Shau then asked for his phone, but the woman didn’t have it. He demanded she call his mum, spitting vile abuse at her.
Shau punched her in the face and jammed her head between her legs. Bloody and bruised, she begged to be released. Shau let her go and the nightmare drive home continued.
Again Shau complained about her speed and he began to punch her some more. Fearing for her life, the woman headed for the nearest service station.
A 24-year old student was working the night shift. Shau’s female victim attended the County Court of Victoria to watch her attacker plead guilty to his crimes.
Seated with her newborn baby, she could not bring herself to look at the big screen television bolted to the wall of the courtroom. Students who walked in during the viewing of the CCTV footage could hardly watch what was going on either.
Moments earlier the woman had proudly shown-off her baby to a friend in the court. Shau pleaded guilty to one charge of recklessly causing injury to the woman and one count of conduct endangering life over his attack on the servo.
He also admitted to refusing the breath test. The charges carried a maximum sentence of five years a piece and two years off the road. Judge Richard Smith sentenced Shau to five years in jail, with a non-parole period of three-and-a-half years.
With time already served, Shau could be released in a little over two years. In sentencing, Judge Smith said he accepted Shau had hit the woman ‘as hard as he could’.
‘It was a brutal assault by you on a five-month pregnant woman,’ he said. ‘It’s all but miraculous she was not more seriously injured … she was the softest of targets for your aggression.’
Judge Smith said the attendant was also lucky not to be seriously injured and it was only a split-second decision by him to move right that saved him.
The court heard Shau had a prior conviction for being drunk in public and assaulting police. Judge Smith said it was an aggravating factor that Shau committed his ‘vicious’ crime in an act of domestic violence.
And although he was unable to sentence Shau for the higher offence of ‘intentionally’ causing injury, he deemed the attack at the ‘high-end’ of the offence he pleaded guilty to.
Shau was also fined and put off the road for four years starting from the day of his sentence.