A couple's fight for the last portion of fried chicken left a man with gravy on his face.

The argument on October 29 between Cameron Wilson and his girlfriend started over a cellphone but progressed to their latest meal - KFC.

Wilson's partner accused him of being selfish when he ate the last helping of KFC - and at that point she picked up a pot of potato and gravy and threw it at his head.

Wilson became angry at this and grabbed her, dragging her to the bed, prosecutor Sergeant Drew Morrison told Whanganui District Court yesterday.

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Wilson punched her in the back of the head, at which point she kicked him, the court heard.

He fell off the bed dragging her with him and two wrestled on the ground. She tried to escape, getting up and grabbing the door handle. But Wilson grabbed her by the shirt and pulled her back to the ground.

When questioned by police Wilson - who pleaded guilty to a charge of assault -said he became angry after she called him selfish.

His girlfriend was left with bruising on the back of her head and Wilson received scratches on his back, Mr Morrison said.

Wilson's lawyer Stephanie Burlace said he was very apologetic. He was often insulted by his partner and, in this case, let his emotions get the better of him.

Wilson also pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of driving with excess breath alcohol and driving while suspended.

Judge Philip Crayton sentenced him to 100 hours community work, 12 months supervision and disqualified him from driving for six months.