Jeremiah Sua was sentenced to two years and two months in prison for domestic violence. Photo / File.

A judge labelled a 20-year-old's behaviour as the "starting phase of classic domestic violence" after stomping and kicking his partner in the head.

Jeremiah Sua appeared in the Napier District Court before Judge Geoffrey Rea on Friday, charged with male assaults female and was sentenced to two years and two months in prison.

In 2018, Sua was in a relationship with his partner, a 15-year-old girl, and on July 4, an argument over a cellphone resulted in him kicking, stomping and spitting at her.

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In the early hours of the morning, Sua's partner was using his cellphone, texting her mother to come and pick her up from his Maraenui address.

Sua became angry and snatched the phone from her and the pair began to argue. Then without warning, he punched her in the face twice, telling her he would kick her in the head before she left, the summary of facts says.

The frightened teenager attempted to get away from Sua by walking into the hallway, but he stalked her, grabbed the hood of her jacket and pulled her to the ground.

He spat in her face about 10 times and verbally abused her.

She lay on the ground crying and covered her head before he began kicking and stomping on her head repeatedly, also striking her left hand and wrist.

His partner pleaded for him to stop, but Sua continued with the assault. She said she felt "weird" in the head as she was being stomped.

Sua's assault left her with a bruised and swollen eye, a swollen bruised left arm which at one stage was thought to be fractured or broken, soreness and several lumps to the head and possible concussion as she had daily headaches and was vomiting.

Sua refused to make a statement to police when they approached him later in July.

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Judge Rea said the offending took place while Sua was on release conditions.

"It's said you can't operate well in domestic relationships," he said.

Defence counsel Scott Jefferson said Sua's Achilles heel was his "lack of maturity" which was noticed by Judge Rea as a smiling Sua entered the dock making punching motions.

"You represent the starting phases of classic domestic violence behavior. You're immature that's no doubt about that," Judge Rea said.