A Whanganui man punched his partner five times after she refused to take off her shoes in bed.

Jesse James Smyth pleaded guilty to manually assaulting a female when he appeared in the Whanganui District Court on Tuesday.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Rachel Willemsen said that on August 26 Smyth was in bed with his partner and told her to take off her shoes.

"He became angry when she didn't ... he pinned her to the ground and punched her once on both sides of her face and then three times in the mouth."

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Sergeant Willemsen said the victim had a bleeding lip and swelling to her face as a result of the attack.

Defence lawyer Stephanie Burlace said Smyth suffered a number of personal issues after a head injury a few years ago.

"My suggestion is community work would be a suitable sentence ... he likes getting out and working and I think it would help him stay out of trouble."

Ms Burlace said the victim was in court showing her support for Smyth.

"The victim would be opposed to a protection order."

Judge Dugald Matheson said he was concerned that two days after being sentenced for a previous assault against his partner there was domestic violence again.

"I'm not going to give you the same grace, Mr Smyth," Judge Matheson said.

Smyth was sentenced with 120 hours of community work and a protection order was put in place.