A Tauranga man who strangled a woman with a lace-like object, pinned her on the ground and twice more violently assaulted her, has been jailed for more than two years.
Brian Whare, 39, was found guilty on four charges after a judge-alone trial in the Tauranga District Court in May presided over by Judge David Cameron.
The charges were strangulation, assault with intent to injure, injures with intent to injure and unlawful possession of ammunition and a breach of prison release conditions.
In May last year, Whare wrapped a lace-like object around the victim's neck and tried to strangle her as he pinned her on the ground and grabbed her Adam's apple.
At the time, the victim was effectively living with him as his girlfriend.
On two further occasions, Whare also kicked and punched her, resulting in a split eyelid, split eyebrow and extensive bruising to her chest and other parts of her body.
After his trial, Whare pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching the Covid-19 lockdown.
At his sentencing hearing yesterday, Crown prosecutor Ella Collis argued a sentence of two years three months prison as a starting point for the strangulation alone was justified.
And a further 10 months should be added for the additional violence offending - which Judge Cameron imposed - plus six months for Whare's past convictions, she said
As well as the strangulation offending, Whare's two further episodes of violence were prolonged assaults committed over several hours, the Crown prosecutor said.
Collis said Whare's letter of remorse should hold little weight given he persuaded the victim to try to retract her earlier police statement while giving evidence at his trial.
This was a significant aggravating factor to Whare's offending and a continuation of his "manipulative behaviour" towards the victim.
"It is fairly hollow to say he is now remorseful."
Whare committed these assaults while subject to a condition that he did not engage in an intimate relationship with a woman without Community Correction's permission.
Whare's lawyer, Rita Nabney, argued for a lower sentence saying Whare was genuinely remorseful and deserved credit for his willingness to apologise to his victim in person.
Nabney also asked the judge to take into account Whare's apology letter to his victim and two further letters of support from his mother and a family friend.
Judge Cameron said he agreed with the Crown prosecutor that Whare's violent offending justified a sentence of more than two years.
Whare also had an extensive criminal history of domestic violence including convictions for male assaults female, assault with intent to injure and threatening to kill, he said.
The defendant also had dishonesty, drug and firearm-related convictions, the court heard.
Judge Cameron said Whare was assessed as posing a high risk of inflicting harm to others and a high risk of further offending, and a strong deterrent sentence was required.
The judge told Whare it was evident at his trial that he was a "highly manipulative" man and "very controlling" towards the victim, who tried to recant her police complaint.
"Mr Whare I totally agree with Ms Collis that your expression of remorse is utterly hollow."
Judge Cameron sentenced Whare to two years seven months' prison, and imposed prison release conditions, after taking into personal background factors, and past convictions.