Wife beater punches baby by mistake

Last updated 13:14 06/01/2014
Cody Scott Jarden
Supplied by NZ police
Cody Scott Jarden taken in 2008.

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A man accidentally punched his infant son in the head - leading to a hospital admission for observation - while assaulting his partner.

The assaults in Rotorua on October 4 were the second domestic violence incident that 26-year-old Cody Scott Jarden admitted at an appearance before Judge Alistair Garland in the Christchurch District Court today.

Jarden is now living and working in Christchurch while his partner and her two children remain in the North Island.

His bail conditions now require him to live at his father's house in Sydenham, and not to contact the woman victim or go to the North Island.

He will be sentenced on February 28 on two charges of assaulting the woman, assaulting the baby, and failing to go to court as required on bail. He admitted all charges.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Scott told the court that Jarden assaulted his partner in an argument about text messaging in Rotorua on August 17 when she was 34 weeks pregnant and he was packing to leave.

He pushed her several times and forced her into a sitting position where he held her until she complained of stomach pains.

Jarden then left and the woman went to hospital. She had swelling on her face, but there was no harm to the child.

On October 4 there was another argument while the woman's five-year-old daughter was present and she was holding her infant son.

When she went outside to wait, Jarden grabbed her, dragged her back into the house and punched her three or four times to the side of the head.

The boy she was holding was hit on the side of the head during the assault, which caused the mother to stumble. Police were then called. Jarden left but was found soon after and arrested.

The woman had swelling to her head and a headache, and the child had a large red bump to the left side of the face. He was admitted to Rotorua Hospital for observation, said Sergeant Scott.

Jarden said he had not meant to hurt the child.

Defence counsel Bridget Ayrey said Jarden had moved to Christchurch, away from the woman and her children. "They are not at risk while he remains here," she said, when she applied for him to be granted bail pending sentencing.

Judge Garland released him on bail, and called for a pre-sentence report that will cover his suitability for home detention.

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