A young woman endured at least eight months of domestic assault before telling the police of the attacks, including one she believed caused the loss of her unborn child, a Napier court has been told.
The tragedy unfolded as 24-year-old Hemi Tristan Moa appeared for sentence in Napier District Court, having admitted to threatening to kill and carrying out multiple assaults which included kicking, stomping, punching and strangling.
Judge Tony Adeane sent him to jail for two years, saying Moa was fortunate not have been facing more serious charges as a result of the loss of the child, and while mentioning the death the judge said he was putting it aside when considering the sentence.
Police confirmed later they investigated the death, but the delay before the woman spoke out about what happened meant evidence, without an autopsy on the foetus, was insufficient to establish a definite link with the assault.
A summary said the two began a relationship about the start of 2011 which was initially "fine," but in which Moa became increasingly controlling, jealous and abusive, and there were several incidents of violence, mostly where Moa lived in Shakespeare Rd, Napier.
She discovered about November 2011 that she was pregnant, and in one incident near the end of January last year she had been looking after Moa's child for an evening when her arrived home after drinking and became angry because she had not cooked him tea.
He ordered her into a bedroom, where he assaulted her with punches and kicks, and then stomped on her stomach.