A Balclutha man who tormented his ex-partner has been blasted by a judge as "one of the most controlling men I've ever seen".

Chris Anthony Wynyard, 33, wrote a letter to the Dunedin District Court saying he was "deeply sorry" for his crimes but Judge Michael Turner was having none of it.

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''That's pretty hollow in my view,'' he said.

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''You need to walk the talk. Talk is cheap.''

According to the victim, the man had a key to her home and came and went as he pleased.

''It seems to me you'll say whatever it takes to look good,'' the judge added.

''Not true, your honour,'' Wynyard replied.

He appeared in court yesterday after pleading guilty to three breaches of a protection order, assaulting a female and theft.

The offending started at the end of July, several months after their 11-year relationship ended.

Wynyard went to the woman's home late at night and a dispute arose over her cellphone.

As the argument continued, the defendant took her car keys and $200 cash she had stashed in a container.

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Wynyard began looking for her purse.

''I don't care how much you hurt me I'm not giving it to you,'' the victim said.

The defendant, however, continued to demand it and grabbed her numerous times ''with considerable force'', only ceasing in the early hours when he had to leave for work.

Despite a protection order being issued by the court in May last year — after Wynyard had been convicted of intimidating his ex-partner — he was back at the woman's home two days later.

When the victim saw him she told him to leave.

Wynyard asked her to ''cut this [expletive deleted] out''.

He continued to ignore her demands and went to sleep in her bed.

The next day she returned home to find Wynyard again in the house, this time raiding the fridge.

The victim said she did not want him in the home, to which he responded: ''tough''.

Wynyard again went to sleep and when he found his ex had joined her teenage daughter in another room, he tried to get into bed with them.

When the victim kicked him out, he punched her in the face and left the address only when the teenager dragged him off.

The respite, though, was brief.

The victim got in her car to leave and Wynyard banged on the windows aggressively.

After a short drive, she returned to find the man had ripped a heater from the garage ceiling and was kicking it.

A pre-sentence interview with Probation added to the defendant's woes.

When quizzed about how he would cope without seeing his children he said: ''the courts aren't going to stop me, they're my [expletive deleted] kids.''

Judge Turner said that response by the defendant was indicative of his total lack of remorse or insight.

''This is one of the most controlling men I've ever seen.

''Who do you think you are?'' the judge said.

Wynyard was sentenced to three months' home detention and nine months' supervision.

Further breaches of the protection order would inevitably have him jailed, the judge said.

DO YOU NEED HELP?

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:

• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz