Ballina woman-basher phoned victim from prison

Benjamin James Cross has been given a lighter sentence on appeal after trying to influence his victim to change her testimony.
Benjamin James Cross has been given a lighter sentence on appeal after trying to influence his victim to change her testimony.

A BALLINA man rang his former girlfriend more than 100 times from Grafton Jail in an attempt to get her to change her testimony about him bashing her.

The barrage of phone calls earned Benjamin James Cross, then 32, a conviction for influencing a witness and a five-year jail sentence with no parole for three years.

But a successful appeal in the NSW Court of Appeal means he will now be eligible for parole after two years, with three years and six months as his total sentence.

Cross and his partner were in a violent relationship and living together in a caravan in West Ballina in 2013.

Cross was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and reckless wounding after assaulting his former partner at their caravan in April 2014.

He was refused bail and held in remand at the Grafton Correctional Centre until his scheduled court date the next month.

Cross called his former partner more than 100 times over a three-week period but many calls went unanswered.

"In a number of them, the offender either advised the victim to withdraw her statement, or alternatively to give false evidence in the proceedings, or otherwise not attend as a witness at the hearing," the statement of facts said.

"On several occasions, the offender would refer to the victim using the false name of 'Kate', instead of the victim's real name... in order avoid detection by Corrective Services."

Transcripts show Cross also phoned a male friend and suggested: "If she turns around and says 'nah, you know, I had psychotic episode and that's what happened... and the police just pressured me into saying, making a statement', well then I'll be let out on that day."

Justice Peter Garling said the original sentence was excessive, noting Cross had been a model prisoner since his arrest.

"There is no suggestion (Cross's) behaviour whilst in custody has been anything other than appropriate," he said.

Cross will be eligible for parole in April next year.


Topics:  advo ballina benjamin james cross court domestic violence grafton correctional centre grafton jail influencing a witness

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Two men charged with rape in Biloela

Biloela Court House.

The men appeared in Biloela Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Suspected arson at CQ schools investigated by police

Police are investigating a fire that destroyed a building at Biloela State High School overnight.

Police investigate other reports of attempted arson at the school

Local Partners

WATCH: Students who burnt down school lit fire at another

TWO teenage boys have been charged with arson after setting fire to Biloela State High School and attempting to set fire to a second school in the area.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Australian Survivor's magician Matt out of tricks

Australian Survivor contestant Matt Tarrant.

SHOW'S power couple looks unstoppable in race to the finish.

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.