Repeat woman basher locked up for 16 months

A repeat woman basher now has five protection orders against him as a result of his violence, a court has heard.

Jamie Kent Ferguson (26) appeared in the Dunedin District Court this week - a place he has visited repeatedly since his late teens - after pleading guilty to two assaults and a breach of release conditions.

Judge Michael Turner locked him up for 16 months and said he had "no hesitation" in making a protection order in favour of the victim.

The court heard it was the fifth such order in place designed to shield women from Ferguson's frequent outbursts.

He was locked up in October last year for assaulting his girlfriend but because of the time he had spent on remand, he was released in December on a range of strict conditions.

One of those stipulated he refrain from contacting the victim for 11 months.

But by February, Ferguson was back in touch with the woman, asking her to resume their relationship.

The victim drove to his Dunedin home on February 17 but it was not the romantic reunion it might have been.

When Ferguson got into the car, they argued for five minutes then drove to a secluded spot nearby.

Once there, the verbal altercation continued and became physical when the woman told the defendant to get out.

Ferguson punched the dashboard and grabbed his former partner by her arm as she tried to escape.

A struggle ensued during which the man held her tightly around the head and neck to prevent her leaving, the court heard.

After 10 seconds, the victim made it out of the car and tried to call police.

Ferguson tackled her to the ground, causing the woman to fall on to gravel and rocks.

He organised for a friend to pick him up before police arrived.

Judge Turner outlined the defendant's lengthy criminal history, which involved multiple convictions for violence, and breaching protection orders and release conditions.

Ferguson was assessed as being at high risk of reoffending and described as a "dangerous person in a domestic setting" by Probation.

Defence counsel John Westgate said: "The real issue is what does he do to stop the cycle, because there's not doubt there is a cycle."

Ferguson will probably be released in a matter of weeks, since he spent more than six months behind bars awaiting sentence.

Locked up

Oct 2019: Imprisoned for 16 months for attacking his girlfriend when barred from contacting her.

Oct 2018: Jailed for 10 months for assaulting partner.

Mar 2018: Sentenced to 12 months’ prison for assaulting a woman, breaching a protection order and threatening her grandmother.

Feb 2015: Ferguson gets 12 months’ prison for threatening his ex-partner when he thought she had a new boyfriend.

May 2012: Jailed for two years, three months. Punched girlfriend when he saw she had male friends on Facebook. A month later, attacked her again for no reason while in bed.