A Dunedin man who threatened to eat his ex-girlfriend and ''rip her apart'' has been jailed for a year.

But the time Damien Tehira Walters spent in custody means he will be released imminently, the Dunedin District Court heard last week.

The 29-year-old broke up with the victim on April 15.

''The defendant has not dealt with the split well,'' a police summary said.

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The next day, Walters told the woman he was going to pick up a firearm from an associate.

With that threat looming, in the early hours of April 17, he turned up at a South Dunedin home where his ex-partner was with a friend.

She heard banging noises and saw Walters approaching the house.

The victim hid in a bedroom while the defendant smashed a glass sliding door.

But before Walters entered, he went back on to the street where the woman had parked her car.

He kicked a door panel, causing it to cave in, and smashed two of the windows.

He did not find the victim at the address but began throwing her belongings from the house on to the pavement.

While doing this, he called the victim on her phone and said ''he was going to kill her, eat her, waste her and rip her apart''.

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Walters' departure from the scene was not the end of the woman's ordeal.

He phoned her again shortly afterwards telling her he was going to return, shoot her, shoot at the house and at her home.

Walters pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional damage and one of threatening to kill as a result of the incident.

He also admitted a charge of cultivating cannabis.

When police were at Walters' home they found a cupboard that had been converted into a mini-grow room for the class-C drug.

In it were six small plants and a larger one with ''several large buds'', the court heard.

Defence counsel Steve Turner said the defendant had paid for the damage he caused and compensated the victim further for the trauma she suffered.

He told the court Walters had been through residential rehabilitation at Moana House in 2014 and his offending - which spanned eight pages of convictions - had since slowed.

The man now accepted the relationship was over, Turner said.

Along with the prison term, Judge John Macdonald imposed six months' release conditions and made a protection order in favour of the victim.

If you're in danger NOW:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you
• Run outside and head for where there are other people
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you
• Take the children with you
• Don't stop to get anything else
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Women's Refuge: Free national crisisline operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisisline 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz