Man jailed for flouting protection order twice

A Dunedin man described as being on a decade-long "merry-go-round" of domestic violence has been jailed for more than a year.

Jason Edward Holmes (38) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after admitting two breaches of a protection order, which had been in place to protect his partner of six years.

Defence counsel Nathan Laws argued a non-custodial sentence should be imposed because previous incarceration had not changed Holmes’ ways and he was in the process of making those changes.

Judge Michael Crosbie was not persuaded.

The Crown provided a statement from "very seasoned" Dunedin Detective Mike Bracegirdle which outlined the amount of work done by the Family Harm Team to address at-risk relationships before criminal charges had to be laid.

Holmes, Det Bracegirdle said, was on a "long-standing merry-go-round" of offending despite the huge efforts by police and other agencies to intervene.

The judge said he could not be confident the defendant would stay out of trouble, even if subject to an electronically-monitored sentence.

He called Holmes’ 17-page criminal record "appalling" and noted that three different women had been granted protection orders against him.

On March 9 last year, the court heard, a family picnic at Mt Cargill soured when the defendant became irritated with the behaviour of the children and demanded to leave.

During the drive home, Holmes demanded to be let out of the car and over the next 16 hours he sent his partner 25 text messages, protesting about how he had been treated.

Three times the victim asked him to stop contacting her, but the texts continued.

Just before he was due to be sentenced, Holmes breached the order again.

On January 10, he went to the woman’s home to accuse her of being in a relationship with someone else.

Despite her repeated requests that he leave, Holmes remained.

Mr Laws stressed there had only been one other breach of the victim’s protection order, but acknowledged there had been breaches against former partners in 2010 and 2009.

"Women he ends up in relationships with are exposed to the same level of behaviour," the judge said.

While Holmes wrote in a letter he was on new medication to regulate his responses to stress and was looking for employment in the dairy industry, Judge Crosbie called it "speculative".

"I’m aware of enormous resources being used locally to work with families in troubled relationships," he said.

"The community needs to understand those who won’t work with the police expose themselves to sentences of imprisonment."

Holmes was sentenced to 13 months behind bars.