Man jailed for assault

17:00, Sep 04 2014

A man who put his hands around his partner's neck with enough force to leave red marks has been jailed for nine months.

Joseph John Renata Mita, 32, appeared in the Timaru District Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting a female and contravening a protection order.

Mita and the victim were in a relationship at the time of the offending. Judge Joanna Maze said the incident was bad enough to leave marks on the victim.

"He became angry at something the victim did. He grabbed the victim around the neck, squeezed, and held her against the wall for a few seconds. You can call it throttling or strangling, and enough force was used to leave red marks on the victim's neck. Both charges relate to the same incident."

The judge said while there was no animosity between the victim and the defendant, there was no prospect of reconciliation.

"You do have previous related offending."


She sentenced Mita to nine months imprisonment.

Other court matters Insufficient evidence led to charges against Timaru's Joseph Walter Uden, being dismissed.

A dairy farm worker, Uden, 25 appeared for a defended hearing on a charge of injuring with reckless disregard for safety.

The incident took place on February 20, when the defendant and victim had been drinking for two days. They got into an argument about Uden's family and he starting throwing objects around.

Through the course of the argument, an object was thrown at the victim causing her to bleed profusely from the head.

"The cut was repaired with a surgical adhesive. However, nothing is said beyond the fact about the length and depth of the cut and what it was caused by," the judge said.

The victim said the defendant and herself were on a "bender" and she did not remember how she got struck or what struck her.

An argument occurring was the only thing she recalled and it resulted in her head bleeding. She said the defendant had never tried to hurt her in the past, but did throw things when he got angry.

There were no other witnesses.

Constable Timothy Easton gave evidence of locating broken crockery and an upturned clothes rack. He found the victim sitting on the steps of the house with a towel pressed to her head.

Uden told the court he was grossly intoxicated at the time and only recollected upturning the clothes rack.

The judge said the complainant did not know what caused her injury and the defendant could only recall upturning the clothes rack.

"He realised he had hit her with something when he saw her head bleeding. But he does not recollect throwing the objects in evidence. He concedes he may have caused the lacerations to her head, but no-one has told me with what."

The judge said the police case rested on the inference the defendant foresaw the injury caused to the complainant and continued regardless.

"I cannot conclude the defendant struck the victim directly by throwing things at her, taking a deliberate risk to her safety. The charge of recklessness requires proof beyond reasonable doubt."

The judge was unable to conclude the charge as it was laid, was proven beyond reasonable doubt, and she dismissed the charge.

Uden was also charged with theft, procuring/possessing cannabis (23 seeds) and possessing needles/syringe for cannabis use. On the theft charge he was fined $400; fined $200 (on the charge of possessing utensils), and convicted and discharged on procuring and possessing cannabis. 

The Timaru Herald