Woman allegedly strangled by partner while pregnant

A Dunedin woman who says her ex-partner strangled her while she was pregnant has told a jury about the perils of living in a "roller-coaster" relationship.

The defendant has denied three counts of strangulation, two of assault in a family relationship, assault with intent to injure and assault with a weapon.

In the Dunedin District Court yesterday, a woman, who was only 19 when she began a relationship with the defendant, described the alleged violence.

"He said it would never happen again, and I stupidly believed him."

The defence case was while the relationship "was not perfect", the abuse simply did not happen.

The woman said her poor financial situation made her feel isolated and she stuck with the man who allegedly went on to repeatedly smash her into walls and punch her in the face.

"When he was strangling me, he picked me up by the throat and slammed my head into the floor," she told the jury

"I remember seeing flashes of white.

"My hands were around his wrists trying to pull them off ... I was not able to breathe."

She felt nauseous after she was dragged by the hair and repeatedly struck in the face by the man.

After allegedly calling her "dramatic", he eventually took her to hospital, the court heard.

When she presented at the Dunedin Hospital with two black eyes and concussion symptoms, hospital staff asked her if she felt safe at home, she said.

Crown prosecutor Pip Norman asked her why she did not alert medical professionals to the hardship she was facing.

"I was embarrassed," the complainant said.

Despite her continued injuries and the fear she felt for her newborn child, she could not bring herself to disclose what had happened.

"It probably makes me sound like a terrible mother."

The jury inspected photographs of her bruised face along with messages the couple exchanged throughout their relationship.

When the pair were living together with their infant child, the man wrote: "I’m on way my and I’m going to f... everything up".

"I’m losing my mind, look at what you do to me."

The woman said the relationship was "like a roller-coaster".

After her ex-partner’s "begging and pleading", she went back to the relationship and even accepted a marriage proposal.

"I stupidly said yes.

"I was young and I thought I was in love."

The complainant said living on a low income with a baby was very stressful and the abuse she suffered tipped her over the edge.

"I felt isolated. I now had a child, I had no job ... I was done.

"I realised he wasn’t going to change.

"My daughter came first. I wasn’t going to allow that to happen any more."

The woman will face cross-examination today and the trial is set to wrap up on Thursday.