Victim unable to eat solid food after assault

A man punched his partner in the face so badly she was unable to eat solid food for 10 days.

Joshua Whakararangi Down, 44, appeared in the Invercargill District Court last week after pleading guilty to injuring with intent to injure and breaching a protection order.

The court heard on June 12 last year the defendant and his partner had an argument which turned physical.

During the scuffle Down's nose ring came out.

He held the victim on the ground and punched her at least four times in the face.

Down admitted the assault to police and said he had "lost it" after the argument.

Counsel Richard Smith said this was the man’s first violent offence and the man had shown insight following a stopping-violence programme.

A cultural report explained the defendant was exposed to violent people in his youth who abused drugs and alcohol.

"That sort of behaviour became normalised for you," Judge David Ruth said.

"Despite that background, this is the first time that you have acted in a violent way."

The court heard Down had engaged in counselling and may become a facilitator at a stopping-violence programme.

"I’m impressed at the amount of work you are doing on your own betterment," Judge Ruth said.

In a statement to the court the victim detailed her extensive injuries, which included a concussion, a bruised jaw and cuts to her lips and face.

She explained she was unable to drive, brush her teeth or eat solid food following the assault.

Judge Ruth sentenced Down to six months’ community detention and nine months’ supervision and ordered $300 emotional harm reparation.