Man `ashamed' of bashing partner

A Nelson man who bashed his pregnant partner and broke her phone in half when she threatened to call police has told the Nelson District Court he is ashamed of his actions.

Jonathan Mark Rogers, 31, a builder, appeared in court for sentencing on Tuesday having previously admitted two counts of assaulting a female and one count each of wilful damage, careless driving and driving with excess blood alcohol.

The court heard that on February 10 Rogers was at home with his partner and her child, whom he was reading to. The child became upset, and when the mother went to see what was happening, a small argument started between her and Rogers .

Rogers then grabbed the woman around the throat, ripped her shirt and punched her in the face. The woman was left with a black eye and bruising to other areas of her face and neck.

Judge Tony Zohrab said the woman told Rogers to leave or she would call the police. Rogers then grabbed the phone out of her hand and broke it in half.

Judge Zohrab said Rogers' partner was pregnant at the time.

In an assault on October 11 last year his partner had been left with minor bruising to her face after he punched her during an argument, the judge said. Prior to that he had been drinking alcohol.

The driving charges resulted from Rogers failing to take a sharp right-hand turn on Poynters Crescent in Nelson and crashing his car down a bank on September 17 last year. Only a tree prevented his car from crashing into a house below.

Rogers crawled into the back of the car and went to sleep where he was found later by firefighters who had to winch him from the vehicle. Emergency services had been called after the occupants of the house were alerted by the sound of water gushing from a mains pipe broken in the crash.

A blood test later revealed Rogers had 253mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, more than three times the legal limit of 80mg.

Rogers told the court he was "ashamed" of his actions towards his partner. In committing them he'd failed to be a good role model for her young son.

He also apologised to the Nelson community for drink-driving. "I should know better."

Judge Tony Zohrab sentenced Rogers to a total of 15 months' imprisonment and disqualified him from driving for two years. Rogers was given leave to apply for a substitute sentence if he was deemed by probation to need residential treatment for alcohol and drug issues.