Jail for ‘cowardly’ attack on partner

Bottles-02A Christchurch man has been jailed for 11 months for what a judge described as “a cowardly and vicious attack” on his partner, who is now expecting his child.

Hayden Thomas Turton, 22, was already on bail on three assault charges – one alleging he used a weapon – when the prolonged assault on the woman took place at their Christchurch home on May 18.

Christchurch District Court Judge Tony Couch said Turton had been drinking heavily when the couple argued and the woman threw a game console at him.

He threw it back, hitting her on the leg, but that was only the start of the violence.

He grabbed her by the throat and forced her back against the window sill, making breathing difficult. When she got free he grabbed her by the neck and threw her across the room into a wall.

He punched her in the face two or three times. While she struggled on the floor he held her down and kicked her in the buttocks and stomach, and punched her in the face. When the police were called he resisted being handcuffed.

The victim ended the incident with cuts on her lip and cheek, bruising, marks on her neck, a cut to her throat, and tenderness in other areas.

Judge Couch said: “The injuries fortunately weren’t long-lasting but they were real. This was a thoroughly cowardly and vicious attack.”

Turton was appearing for sentence after admitting charges of assault with intent to injure and resisting arrest.

Defence counsel Donald Matthews made a strong plea for Turton to be granted a home detention sentence because of the progress he had made in custody on remand, with literacy and numeracy courses and trying to engage in drug, alcohol and relationship counselling. Some of that was going to have to wait until after his sentencing.

The remand in custody had been “a wake-up call” for Turton. “He doesn’t want to be one of those fathers who is in and out of prison, abusing alcohol, and not there for his child,” Mr Matthews said.

Judge Couch noted that Turton had three previous convictions for assault, including two for assault with intent to injure, and five convictions for fighting.

He accepted that Turton showed some remorse, but told him that he still had a long way to go in his thinking before he understood the effect that his behaviour had on other people.

He rejected the suggestion for home detention, telling Turton: “The violence of your behaviour, against your background, is such that I don’t consider any community-based sentence is appropriate to meet the purposes of sentencing.”

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