Aspiring officer granted discharge

An Alexandra man charged with domestic assault and resisting police has been discharged without conviction because he wants to be a correctional officer.

James Russell Clayton (28), an operator, was told by Judge Emma Smith in the Alexandra District Court yesterday the consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to the gravity of his offending.

Clayton had pleaded guilty to common assault (domestic), resisting police and failing to provide his identification details to police, all in Alexandra on September 8, 2018.

Counsel for Clayton, Kieran Tohill, said that although he did not want to minimise the offending, the injuries the victim sustained were ''pushing and shoving and not blows or punches or kicks'', and not ''grave or severe''.

Clayton had left his home after an argument with his partner and gone to another address, where he started drinking. His partner visited him there and confronted him and that was when Clayton pushed her.

Mr Tohill sought a discharge without conviction, as Clayton wanted to ''follow in the footsteps of his father'' and become a correctional officer, in Australia. A conviction could prevent his travel overseas, and his employment opportunities, Mr Tohill said.

Judge Smith said she took the views of Clayton's partner - who wanted to continue her relationship with him and did not want Clayton to suffer a penalty for the incident - into account.

She said it was ''speculative'' a conviction might mean Clayton would be denied entry to Australia, but it was possible it might affect his employment.

Domestic assault was a serious offence, but Judge Smith allowed the discharge, as the consequences of a conviction would be disproportionate to Clayton's offending.

Clayton was ordered to pay $130 court costs.