A Mosgiel man assaulted a woman, then threw her phone into the sea because she rebuffed his sexual advances, a court has heard.
Corey Thomas Littlejohn, 23, appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to assault in a family relationship, two counts of wilful damage and one of intimidation.
When interviewed after the incident he said it was "not as bad as it sounds" and claimed he was trying to protect himself from the victim.
Littlejohn did not consider himself a violent person, he said.
That was contradicted on February 13, when the defendant was walking along Brighton Beach with a woman and her child.
He "began initiating a sexual interaction" with the victim, the police summary said.
The woman made it clear she was unwilling and an argument developed between them.
Littlejohn tripped the victim, causing her to fall on to her back, and when she tried to regain her footing, he threw her down again.
When she screamed at him to stop, he allowed her to get up.
Concerned that Littlejohn would continue the assault, the victim pre-emptively bit him and pulled his hair, the court heard.
Soon after, an interaction between the woman and a passer by enraged the defendant.
He responded by throwing her phone into the ocean and again pushing her on to the sand as she tried to escape.
Littlejohn left her alone only when the victim sought help from a member of the public, but his anger remained.
He threw a rock through the rear windscreen of the woman's car, and was later arrested.
His abusive attitude continued at the station while he was being processed.
Littlejohn stared at the custody sergeant and told him: "I'm going to remember you."
Counsel Steve Turner said it was the first time the man had been arrested and he had "failed the attitude test".
The incident also marked Littlejohn's first stay behind bars (for five days) and a lengthy spell subject to restrictive bail conditions.
Turner said his client understood his behaviour was inappropriate and was committed to undertaking a 26-week Stopping Violence course.
Judge David Robinson was concerned to see "elements of coercion and control" in the defendant's actions.
He also noted Littlejohn had breached his bail by contacting the victim just a couple of weeks ago.
The defendant was sentenced to three months' community detention, 40 hours' community work and 12 months' supervision.
He was ordered to pay $1355 reparation and a protection order was granted in favour of the victim.