Assault puts murderer back inside

A convicted murderer out on life parole has been sent back to jail after a prolonged and violent attack on the mother of his baby.

David William Ingham (33), a South Otago farm hand, was sentenced in the Dunedin District Court yesterday by Judge Dominic Flatley to 21 month's prison on two Crimes Act assaults and assault with an intent to injure.

The assaults, on May 16, left the victim with multiple bruises to her head, nose, cheeks and limbs, two black eyes, a scratch to the left side of her her neck, a 2cm cut to her palm requiring stitches, scratches and a 20cm welt across her back.

Judge Flatley said the aggravating features included it being a prolonged attack over one day, the extreme violence including being hit with a rubber tube, and the premeditation of the attack, as he returned twice to assault the victim.

As Ingham took the victim's phone and the car, she was clearly vulnerable and not able to get away.

''She was effectively trapped and fearful.''

Added to that was Ingham's history of two common assaults between 1997 and 1999 and a conviction for murder in Nelson in 1999, he said.

Judge Flatley said due to these features, he increased Ingham's sentence from a starting point of 18 months to 28 months, before giving him seven months credit for his early guilty plea.

He would not give Ingham credit for undergoing a restorative justice meeting with the victim, despite showing remorse and apologising, the judge said.

Noel Rayner, Ingham's counsel, said Ingham had been recalled to prison as a result of the incident.

It occurred due to the isolation both geographic and social, and Ingham had acknowledged it was a mistake to invite the victim to live with him in South Otago.

Judge Flatley also approved the victim's request for a protection order.

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