A Dunedin man who attacked his partner in front of their five children was "a very good father; he just made a very big mistake", the victim says.
The defendant appeared before the Dunedin District Court yesterday after admitting charges of strangulation, assault with intent to injure and assault in a family relationship.
He had been barred from contact with his victim since the December attack and was visibly upset as his partner read a tearful victim impact statement yesterday.
The victim — who was granted permanent name suppression, meaning her husband cannot be identified — said there had never been a violent outburst in the past.
"The night of the incident I was scared, I was angry and I didn't know who he was that night," she said.
The victim took the children away for an impromptu holiday to take their minds off the attack but it caused them to blame her for taking them away from their father, she said.
Judge Jim Large said the fact she was unfairly lumbered with that was "really sad".
The couple had been drinking on December 23 last year when the defendant became "agitated and aggressive".
He pushed the woman to the ground then throttled her, both hands forced down on her neck.
When the victim broke free, he grabbed her by the leg and dragged her into the hallway.
Again, she slipped his grip and tried to crawl away but the defendant was not finished.
He hit the woman on the back of the head several times while she crouched, trying to protect herself.
She scrambled into a wardrobe, where she called police, but her fears swiftly turned towards the safety of her children.
The victim emerged from the temporary refuge and told her partner officers were on their way.
He responded by punching her in the face.
The court heard the woman suffered a cut to the inside of her lip, swelling and minor pain to her collarbone.
The victim said she wanted to be reunited but was realistic that her husband needed treatment before that could take place.
The judge praised her for her courage, speaking in front of a room full of strangers with such sincerity.
"I want our relationship to grow. I want our family back together but we need help for this to happen," the victim said.
Counsel Jim Takas said his client was willing to undertake any counselling deemed necessary to enable that.
The defendant was sentenced to three months' community detention and 18 months' intensive supervision.
During that time he would be allowed contact with the victim only when approved by Probation.
A protection order was granted in her favour.