Attack on partner ‘life-threatening’

A woman felt like her eyes and tongue would pop out of her face during a "life-threatening" attack.

Jon Jacob Stuart, 44, appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to strangulation, assault with intent to injure, breaching a protection order and intimidation.

The court heard that on August 31, the defendant argued with his partner about what she was wearing.

The woman locked herself in a bedroom but Stuart forced his way in and grabbed her by the throat.

She was unable to breathe for eight seconds and nearly lost consciousness, a police summary said.

She described feeling her tongue "pop out of her mouth" because of the pressure.

The defendant then pushed his partner on to the bed and strangled her again before pushing his fingers below her eye, causing her to believe it was "going to pop out".

When she tried to get away, Stuart covered her mouth to muffle her screams.

During the assault, he yelled something like "shut the f... up" and "I could f...... kill you if I wanted to".

The defendant kept his hand over the woman’s mouth when pressing her face into the bed.

She could feel her teeth being pushed in before she tried to move the man’s hand away.

During the struggle Stuart scratched the victim’s face and pushed her head into the corner of a dresser.

Eventually, he released his grip, left the address and the victim reported the attack to police.

At the time of the assault, Stuart was on a sentence of intensive supervision for violent offending against the same victim.

Counsel Andrew Dawson said his client had an alcohol problem, which he had been working through during his last sentence.

"His period of sobriety leading up to this offending was when his memories of what happened to him when he was younger became clearer to him," Mr Dawson said.

He argued the defendant was now getting help to address underlying issues and his rehabilitative prospects were good.

Crown prosecutor Marcail Brosnan said the recent assault was more severe and violent than the last and the defendant did not appreciate the seriousness.

"I acknowledge that he does still care for the victim ... but he does downplay his offending."

She submitted Stuart was given the chance to rehabilitate while on intensive supervision but did not do so.

"Your behaviour is life-threatening — there’s no other way to put it," Judge Jim Large said.

"There comes a time when you have to remove the risk of your reoffending by addressing the causes of it."

Judge Large sentenced the defendant to 26 months’ imprisonment and thanked the victim for coming to the hearing.

"Thank you for your attendance. I hope we don’t have to meet a third time."