A Masterton man who punched and throttled his partner and later forced her car off the road was on Thursday sentenced to 120 hours' community work and nine months' supervision.

Dwayne Michael Stammers, 20, pleaded guilty to three charges of male assaults female, as well as dangerous driving, wilful damage, possession of an offensive weapon and possession of utensils.

Judge Tony Walsh said the charges related to two incidents, the first on December 30 last year. Stammers and his partner were at home and an argument developed. Stammers used a fishing knife to stab a chair, a door and a box.

Stammers' partner began packing to leave the house and he punched her in the back of the head, then he began strangling her with both hands around her neck, causing her to be briefly unable to breathe.


He then snapped her cellphone in half. When police attended they found spotting knives on the stove.

The next incident occurred on January 9, when Stammers was a passenger in a car being driven by his partner.

Judge Walsh said Stammers began interfering with the driving by pulling on the handbrake, changing gears and fiddling with the indicators and windscreen wipers.

He then began grabbing the steering wheel and swerving the car off the road, while his partner told him several times to "Stop, it's dangerous" and ordered him to get out of the car.

Stammers responded by grabbing the steering wheel and running the car off the road.

He gave her a backhand slap to the face and grabbed her phone.

The partner then grabbed Stammers' phone and left the car, after which he gave chase, "tackling her in the middle of the road" and retrieving his phone.

The woman was left with stinging in her left cheek and grazing on her knee.

Judge Tony Walsh said Stammers' actions would have been "very frightening for the victim", saying blows to the head could be serious and the strangling had caused her to have "difficulty to breathe".

"It can only take a matter of 15 seconds for someone to lose consciousness and die. If that had happened you would have been looking at a charge of murder."