A heavily intoxicated man, who assaulted an elderly motorist parked in his vehicle in Mount Maunganui, says he has no memory of his unprovoked attack.

Tamehana Ohlson, 22, pleaded guilty to one charge each of common assault and wilful damage when he appeared in the Tauranga District Court on Tuesday.

The court heard that at 2.25am on January 7 this year the 74-year-old victim was sitting in his Toyota car which was parked in Gloucester Rd, Mount Maunganui.

Ohlson, who was intoxicated at the time, walked up to the victim and began yelling and swearing at him. He threatened to assault him.

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When the victim opened his door and attempted to step out, Ohlson slammed the door back which jammed the victim's legs against the driver's door.

Fearing for his safety, the victim got back into his vehicle and closed the door.

Ohlson then proceeded to punch the driver's window causing it to smash, and the glass shattered over the victim.

The defendant ran from the scene, but he was arrested a short distance away.

Police said this was an unprovoked attack against someone who was unknown to Ohlson.

The victim suffered cuts and swelling to his left shin, plus minor cuts to his face.

Ohlson's lawyer Coby Martell told Judge David Cameron that her client, who had no prior convictions, was deeply remorseful and ashamed of his actions.

"Because Mr Ohlson was severely intoxicated he cannot recall these events, but nevertheless he accepts responsibility for his behaviour as stated in the police summary," she said.

Martell said Ohlson was sincere in his expressions of remorse and wanted his letter of apology passed to his victim.

Given Ohlson was a first-time offender a sentence of community work and reparation would be the appropriate sanction, she said.

Judge Cameron agreed and sentenced Ohlson to 80 hours' community work and ordered him to pay $250 reparation to the victim.