Shift south to protect baby

Last updated 15:45 28/02/2014

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A 26-year-old man has moved to Christchurch from Rotorua to keep his distance from the woman and newborn baby he admits assaulting, and a judge has issued a protection order to keep it that way.

The order was made at the sentencing of Cody Scott Jarden, who now works in Christchurch unloading containers.

He pleaded guilty in January to two charges of assaulting the woman, and one of assaulting the baby. He has also admitted failing to come to court as required on bail.

Jarden had assaulted the woman when she was pregnant and they were living in Rotorua. After he pushed her in the face and dragged her down, she was checked at hospital to ensure no harm had been done to the baby.

But later, the couple argued again while she was holding the newborn boy. Jarden pushed her in the shoulder and punched her in the side of the head several times. One of the punches hit the boy on the side of the head causing a large bump. The child was admitted to hospital for observation.

Defence counsel Bridget Ayrey said Jarden had since moved to Christchurch where he was well regarded at home where he was living with his father and stepmother, and he was seen as a good worker.

Christchurch District Court Judge Brian Callaghan described the offending as "fairly awful behaviour".

"The fact that somebody would attack and pregnant woman and then attack a woman holding a baby, tells me that there's a high risk that if you two have contact again there is a likely to be further violence if you don't get your way," he said.

He issued a protection order for the woman, ordered Jarden to attend a Stopping Violence programme, imposed three months of community detention when Jarden will be able to work but will have a night-time curfew, and a year's supervision.

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