Man swung knife while holding baby

A "totally out of control" man brandished a knife at his partner while holding their 8-month-old baby, a court has heard.

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

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

The defendant 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, the court heard.

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," the judge said.

Judge Harvey said that he doubted Couchman had true remorse but he 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.