Dealer smeared dog faeces on victim’s face

A Roxburgh dealer convicted of 20 drug charges says he was in the throes of addiction when he smeared dog faeces on a woman’s face.

Benson Conrad Jeffery, 42, appeared in the Dunedin District Court this week after offering to sell small amounts of cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.

About 11 people were thought to be involved throughout Central Otago and the quantities of each drug were unknown.

"Sometimes it was only a puff being exchanged," counsel Sarah Saunderson Warner said.

Jeffery began dealing illegal substances to fund his own drug habit after the death of a family member saw his life spiral out of control, the court heard.

Damning messages that revealed the low-level dealing were uncovered on Jeffery’s phone after police responded to a violent incident on August 1.

Judge Emma Smith convicted the man of what she called a "vile, cruel and degrading" assault on a female.

Expecting to pick up her daughter, the victim arrived at Jeffery’s front door about noon.

The defendant said the child was not home.

He told the woman to leave as he suspected the two associates accompanying her were drug dealers.

"He has the audacity to be mad she is with a drug dealer," Judge Smith said.

After a verbal altercation with the victim, Jeffery shoved her with both hands.

A scuffle ensued and when the woman hit the ground, Jeffery knelt on top of her with his full weight, court documents said.

The defendant picked up a pile of dog faeces and smeared it in the woman’s face, some of it going in her mouth, the court heard.

"That’s pretty jolly bad," the judge said.

Ms Saunderson Warner acknowledged the offending reflected badly on her client who had no history of domestic violence.

As a result of the assault, the victim sustained cuts to her face and visible bruises to her wrist.

"She was afraid of you, she worries you might randomly turn up at her house and that gives her great anxiety," Judge Smith said.

Jeffery used his time in custody to seek drug treatment and parenting assistance as he was desperate to get home to his daughter.

The man was also convicted of a low level theft from a supermarket and three counts of suspended driving.

Jeffery was sentenced to 11 months’ home detention, ordered to pay $28 reparation and disqualified for one year.