A drink-driver whose partner was ejected from his moving vehicle during a boozy argument has been jailed for 17 months.
Tekita Paraire Biddle, 30, appeared before the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to assault, doing a threatening act, assault with intent to injure and one count of drink-driving.
The road incident, which happened in December last year, marked the end of nearly a year of offending, the court heard.
It started in Lower Hutt in January 2020 after Biddle had embarked on a drinking session with another man.
The victim challenged him to a fight.
Biddle knocked him down with a punch to the jaw and left the man unconscious when he hit him twice more.
All but the final blow were in self-defence, the police accepted.
The incident marked Biddle's first conviction in New Zealand but court documents noted he had a criminal history in Australia.
A move to Dunedin did see a change in the defendant's conduct.
While staying at a backpackers with his girlfriend in October, Biddle began punching holes in the wall, smashing up the whiteware and throwing property around.
"The victim had grave fears for her safety," police said.
In December, the couple were drinking at Biddle's Waikouaiti home when the woman asked to be driven to Dunedin.
Despite the defendant's state of intoxication, they set off in his red BMW.
An argument resulted in Biddle returning home with the victim, then following her as she set off walking down the street.
He grabbed her bottle of wine and her purse and when she reached into the car to retrieve them he set off.
"The defendant put his foot down and began driving again down the street with the victim half in and half out of the vehicle," the court heard.
Due to Biddle's wild driving, the victim fell out of the BMW, landing on her hands and knees in the middle of the road, grazed and bruised. He made a U-turn then drove at her "in an intimidating manner".
A later test revealed Biddle's blood-alcohol reading of 181mg, more than triple the legal limit.
Judge Tony Couch accepted the defendant's upbringing may have contributed to the offending and gave him credit for the rehabilitative steps.
Anything short of imprisonment, however, was out of the question, he said.
Biddle's driving disqualification would last for the period of his incarceration.
A protection order was made in favour of the victim.