A man who throttled his pregnant partner and forced his knee into her stomach has been jailed for more than two years.
Shannon William Hawkins (27) pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with intent to injure over the incident in March 5 last year.
And it got worse for his on-off girlfriend a year later, after she had given birth to their son.
The woman asked Hawkins to leave the Mosgiel house and walked out herself when he refused.
Later that day, she returned to feed her children and put them to bed, and found the defendant in bed.
They argued and Hawkins put the woman in a ``headlock'' and threw her on to the bed.
He throttled the victim, who struggled for breath, then dragged her on to the floor.
She got up and bolted for the door but Hawkins caught her and smashed her into a wardrobe door, forcing his forearm into her throat.
When he flung her down, the woman curled in a ball to protect herself.
So Hawkins grabbed her by the back of the neck and rammed her head into the floor several times.
As he had in the previous incident, he tried to apologise and console the victim afterwards.
He admitted a charge of injuring with intent to injure just before a scheduled trial recently.
The woman, who was at the back of the Dunedin District Court for yesterday's sentencing, said everything had been going well for Hawkins.
He was taking part in counselling as part of a previous court sentence and she described him as ``an amazing father''.
But the charges meant the defendant had missed out on the last five months of his son's development.
``When [the child] reaches a milestone it's a bitter-sweet moment,'' she wrote in a statement.
``It guts me every day, especially when his first word was `dad'.''
Despite saying their relationship was effectively over, she did not close the door to potential reconciliation.
Things would have to change if that was to happen.
``Shannon is not a bad person,'' she said. I'd like him to know it's OK to be human and express emotion ... this is what happens when it's bottled up.''
Judge Kevin Phillips said when Hawkins came before the court on violence charges last year, a rehabilitative sentence was put in place.
Since that had not worked, he had ``very few options''.
Hawkins was jailed for two years and one month.