A former Dannevirke man was who has 23 convictions for violence was sentenced to home detention when he appeared in Dannevirke District Court on Friday.
Rodrick Wayne Woods was in court for sentencing on charges of threatening grievous bodily harm, possessing an offensive weapon and assault.
He had been living in the South Island and was in custody in Christchurch prison but was transferred to Manawatū prison to await sentencing, because he asked to be sentenced in Dannevirke court.
Counsel Nicola Graham presented Judge David Smith with a letter from Woods and one from the chaplain of Christchurch prison.
"In terms of Mr Woods' previous history prison did not work. He doesn't comply with his release conditions and ends up back in prison."
Because he was sentenced to short terms of imprisonment he was unable to take advantage of the programmes offered.
"Home detention would be a more appropriate sentence so it might be time to try a different approach," Graham said.
In outlining details of the offending, Judge Smith said at 6.30am on December 4 Woods and his partner were waiting to board a ferry in Wellington.
"You asked her to get something from the boot of your car. She said no so you punched her in the ribs."
Once in the South Island the couple were sitting in their car when Woods became abusive.
"You produced a flick knife and said you would use it on her. She managed to escape from the car and ran to a public toilet where she locked herself in and called the police.
"You have 23 previous violence convictions. You have been sentenced to prison on a number of occasions but clearly sending you to prison doesn't make any difference to your behaviour because why would you do it again and again."
Judge Smith said had the charge been laid under the Summary Offences Act, as submitted by counsel, it would carry a much lower penalty.
"But I'm not entirely sure it should have been. If somebody carries a flick knife then they intend to use it, otherwise why have it. It's a dangerous weapon."
Apart from the bruising the victim suffered she also suffered trauma from the incident and Judge Smith said he needed to take that into account in sentencing Woods.
"Your letter to me and the letter from the chaplain at Christchurch prison indicate you do have some remorse."
Judge Smith noted Woods had not served a sentence of home detention in the past so he was prepared to try this as opposed to another prison term.
"At the age of 34 this is not the way to live your life. You need to have it turned around. You need to respect the terms of your home detention conditions. You must abstain from alcohol and drugs."
Judge Smith ordered Woods to undergo psychological assessment, alcohol and drug assessment and take part in Tikanga programmes.
"If I sentence you to prison for nine months you would not get the benefit of these programmes."
He sentenced Woods to four and a half months home detention on each of the three charges and he ordered a protection order be placed on the victim.
"That means you cannot contact her in any way. If you breach this order you can spend up to three years in jail."