Sadomasochist ruined my life, says victim

Leigh James Pattinson’s ex-lover told a court her life was ruined after she was suffocated in a sadomasochistic sexual encounter in 2019.

Reading a statement in the New South Wales District Court on Friday, the victim, who can only be referred to as DW, described the wide-ranging impact of the assault in which Pattinson strangled her without her consent.

“The effect of Leigh’s assault has affected every aspect of my life: work, relationships, family, financial, personal, emotional and definitely mental,” he said.

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

She told the court that she lost her job and home because anxiety meant she couldn’t perform well at work and she had to borrow funds to pay her rent as a result of the attack.

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

“‘I know and hope that Leigh realizes the seriousness of her behavior and that she will never commit this act again because I fear that the next victim will not be as strong as I had to be.”

In April of this year, Pattinson was acquitted of charges of aggravated sexual assault for what happened during the bondage and sadomasochism session. He was found guilty of recklessly suffocating his victim.

On Friday, Pattinson’s attorney, Patrick Schmidt, said his client had now learned what consent meant and would no longer engage in this type of BDSM activity.

“He has a very deep insight into this to the point where he doesn’t want to engage in this type of behavior anymore,” Schmidt said.

The attorney said the incident was very different from a typical domestic violence situation, noting that Pattinson’s family now knew what he had done thanks to media coverage of the case.

The crown prosecutor told the court that Pattinson should receive a reduced sentence because he offered to plead guilty to the asphyxiation charge in March last year.

Days after the attack, DW presented at the hospital with bruises on her thighs, genitals, neck and breasts, and bleeding from her eye caused by a ruptured blood vessel.

Judge Mark Buscombe will deliver sentence on Friday afternoon.

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