Knife-wielding man threatened partner while holding baby

A "totally out of control" man brandished a knife at his partner while holding their eight-month-old baby, a court has heard.

Bruce Wayne Couchman, 27, appeared in the Invercargill District Court this morning after pleading guilty to assault in a family relationship, possessing a weapon, threatening to do grievous bodily harm and wilful damage.

The court heard that on January 11 last year, the defendant had an argument about laundry with his partner. 

Couchman punched a door before picking up the baby and while holding him, pushed the woman to the ground twice.

With the baby still in his arms, the defendant went to the kitchen and picked up a knife and swung it at the victim.

Later, some of Couchman's associates came to the house.

The defendant was heard saying "hurry up, [tell me what] you want so I can go and knock her the f*** out".

He then forced the baby into the victim’s arms before spitting at her and demanding the keys to the car.

The victim called the police and the defendant fled.

The court heard the defendant had previous convictions against the same woman.

Judge Duncan Harvey was appalled that children had witnessed the confrontation.

"The summary of facts tells me that you were totally out of control," Judge Duncan Harvey said.

He said he doubted Couchman had true remorse but acknowledged he was taking steps to work on his temper.

Judge Harvey sentenced the defendant to six months’ community detention and 120 hours’ community work.

He also ordered the defendant to pay $500 emotional harm reparation.