A musician who assaulted his ex-girlfriend has avoided a conviction so he can pursue a European record deal.
The man was also given permanent name suppression at Auckland District Court this afternoon - so the sum total of his punishment was a $130 court-costs bill.
The name of his band and his ex-partner were also suppressed.
The defendant previously told the court his band had recently got their big break with a European label agreeing to release their album.
"To get an opportunity like this outside New Zealand is a pretty big deal," he said.
"It's what I've been working for my whole life."
After extensive enquiries by the judge, the man described the band's sound as "very bluesy, early 70's inspired, psychedelic rock".
An affidavit before the court laid out the man's 20-year career in music, including the last three years as the "driving force" behind the band.
The defendant told the court that before sentencing today he had spent the day recording the group's latest album in preparation for the overseas trip.
Judge Grant Fraser accepted a conviction or any negative publicity might jeopardise the record deal and accordingly granted both applications.
"It would appear ... that the band and [the defendant] are about to potentially break through into the international market," he said.
"I'm of the view that to see that fall apart as a result of this offending - at the low to moderate end of the spectrum - would be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offending."
The incident happened at a work Christmas party when the man's then partner began arguing with a third party.
"We had both been drinking and I reacted badly and handled her the wrong way which caused her to fall and hit her head on the gate," he said.
Though there were some denials about kicking the woman in the side as she lay on the ground, Judge Fraser stressed he had accepted the summary of facts in its entirety with his guilty plea.
On granting the discharge without conviction, the judge also took into account the restrictions the black mark would place on travel around Europe and the US.
The victim provided a statement to the court in support of her ex, and said she was concerned if he did not get suppression she too would be identified.
Judge Fraser accepted the defendant was "deeply remorseful" and said he had completed courses to address his behaviour.
"I hope the work you've done means we never see you again on a future occasion," he said.