A man's frustration over gaining access to his daughter had its sequel in Dannevirke District Court, where he was sentenced to supervision and community work.

Jade Smith was appearing on charges of wilful damage and breaching a protection order.
Smith's lawyer Nicola Graham told the court the breach involved a series of text messages sent to his ex-partner, the mother of his daughter.

"Mr Smith was on home detention at the time and he became frustrated at trying to gain access to his daughter and lashed out. He was reliant on his partner to assist with making arrangements."

Judge Stephanie Edwards said Smith understood he shouldn't have reacted as he did.


"This differs from your past breaches of which there have been six since 1999 and a total of 12 family violence offences.

"That history would have me looking at a harsher sentence, but the evidence shows me that things have changed."

She said Smith had been undergoing alcohol and drug counselling and he had been doing well under these programmes.

"You have been keeping your regular appointments and been very positive. You have also been complying with your post detention conditions."

Judge Edwards said when it came to family court matters, Smith had to recognise there was a right way of going about things and a wrong way.

"Your progress needs to be recognised and that's why I'm not looking at harsher options.

"Your emotional stress gets the better of you both and you tend to lash out at each other's property."

Judge Edwards said Smith must continue with his counselling and programmes.


On the charge of breaching a protection order, Smith was sentenced to six months' supervision and 80 hours community work. On the charge of wilful damage he was convicted and sentenced to 40 hours community work. Both sentences were to be served concurrently.

Also appearing on family violence charges was Whatarangi Tamati Graham, who faced two charges of assault.

The court was told police had been unable to contact the victim so were unable to offer a victim impact report or the victim's views on a protection order.

Lawyer Nicola Graham said the defendant faced two charges, the first at the lower level and the second more serious.

Judge Edwards said prior to these two charges, Graham had a large number of police reports of incidents.

On October 19, Graham and the victim had an argument over car keys. He threw the keys at her, hitting her in the back. A suspended sentence was imposed to allow Graham to take steps to deal with his issues.

On March 11, the victim left the house to get away from Graham. He followed her and struck her on the shoulder with his chin then punched her in the stomach three times.
Their young daughter was in the house at the time.

Judge Edwards said the relationship had ended but Graham wished to remain in his daughter's life and would like to return to the Dannevirke area.

"It is important that even though the relationship is over you have to learn to work with each other and to manage the stress in a constructive way without losing your rag and lashing out."

Graham was sentenced to six months' supervision on each charge and ordered to undertake appropriate family violence programmes and any others required by a probation officer.

On the second charge Graham was also sentenced to 40 hours community work.