Prison time for assault on partner

By melissa.nightingale@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

A man who tried to lift his partner off the ground by her throat as she held her baby was sent to prison on Thursday.

The same man chased his grandmother down the road and threw her to the ground in an unrelated incident.

Letraz Poulson appeared in the Whanganui District Court on Thursday on two charges of male assaults female, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, and threatening to kill. He pleaded guilty.

Judge David Cameron said the first offence happened on June 15, after Poulson and his partner had been arguing, and she left the property with her 14-month-old baby.

Later the victim was walking down the road, trying to get home, when Poulson began chasing her and yelling "you're not allowed to go home", Judge Cameron said.

Poulson then grabbed the victim by the throat while she had the child in her arms and was "unable to defend herself".

"The defendant tried to lift her off the ground by the neck."

Poulson then forced the victim back into the house.

The second offence happened on August 1, when Poulson asked for his grandmother's keys so he could look under the bonnet of her car, as the engine wasn't running properly.

Around 5pm, she noticed the car was gone, and texted a friend of Poulson's who she believed he was with, asking for the car to be returned.

Poulson brought the car back about 3am, with the right rear wheel and axle "significantly damaged", the judge said.

While the victim was moving the car, Poulson went into the house and called the victim's cellphone from the landline, planning to find it and take it so she couldn't call the police on him.

When Poulson heard the phone ringing on the victim, he began chasing her down the street, yelling "If you ring the police I'll hunt you down," and making threats to kill her.

At one point Poulson threatened "If you make it to the main road I'll smash your face", and yelled he wanted the phone.

When he caught up to the victim, he threw her to the ground, then pulled her up by her hair, telling her again he would kill her if she called police.

The victim handed over her phone and Poulson let her go, Judge Cameron said. He returned it to her several hours later.

Poulson has convictions ranging from 2011 to 2015, and has been imprisoned in the past for violence-related offending.

He was imprisoned for two years and three months for an aggravated robbery committed in 2011, and was imprisoned again in 2014 for injuring with intent to injure, and 2015 for two common assaults.

"He has a propensity for violence," Judge Cameron said.

In her victim impact statement from June, the first victim said she was "very scared" of Poulson.

Both victims attended a Restorative Justice conference with Poulson, which was described as "successful".

"He acknowledged responsibility for his actions."

Poulson also indicated his willingness to do interventional programmes to address his violence issues.

Judge Cameron sentenced him to 12 months in prison.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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