Health worker sentenced for assault on partner

The Invercargill District Court.
ROBYN EDIE/FAIRFAX NZ

The Invercargill District Court.

A Southland health worker who punched and strangled their partner has been sentenced to supervision.

The person, whose identity and occupation is suppressed, appeared before Judge John Brandts-Giesen in the Invercargill District Court on Monday.

The person had earlier admitted a charge of assault and applied for a discharge without conviction, but the judge declined, instead sentencing them to 12 months' supervision.

Judge Brandts-Giesen said the person had been drinking with their partner on February 28 when the couple began arguing.

"I suspect you were drunk," the judge said.

When the partner was in bed, the person stood over them and punched their partner in the face, causing a bleeding nose and lip.

They then grabbed their partner by the shirt and pounamu necklace, which caused them to struggle to breathe for a short time.

The partner managed to get away, and went to a neighbour's house to phone police, the judge said.

Aggravating factors of the offending included that strangulation was involved, and that it was domestic violence following abuse of alcohol, he said.

The charge could have been of aggravated assault, based on the summary of facts, the judge said.

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"[Domestic violence] is an insidious cancer in our society."

However, there was clearly remorse, and the person had been of good character for a long time.

In ordering suppression of the person's name, employer, and occupation, as well as the name of the victim and the couple's address, the judge said "justice must be dispensed with mercy".

Open justice had been served by having the person appear in open court, and the decision to make suppression orders would only effect "the prurient, who will be denied their diet of scandal," he said.

"You do not deserve to be the subject of scandal."

 - Stuff

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