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.

Ipswich climber makes it to Everest Base Camp

Beau Stewart is completing the hike of a lifetime in Nepal.

He visited Alice Springs, Tasmania and spots all over south-east Queensland as part...

WATCH: Boxing roos caught on video

QT readers Des and Jen Price captured this confrontation between two male roos in the backyard at Redbank Plains early Monday morning.

Readers capture kangaroos fighting

'Drug-addicted parents have no rights to kids'

Mum addicted to ice fighting for right to keep ninth baby

Local Partners

Gable Tostee: His own words about that fatal night

In a lengthy post to a bodybuilding forum four months after Warriena Wright died, Gable Tostee revealed what happened inside his apartment.

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"

Taylor Swift files lawsuit over alleged groping

Taylor Swift source Bang

Swift has commenced legal action against a DJ over the incident

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

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.

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.