A Kiwi has avoided a mandatory jail sentence for assault because the man he punched in the face insulted his mother.

Solomon Renata pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in the Darwin Local court on Friday.

The 39-year-old was facing a mandatory three-month jail sentence due to a record of prior violence, NT News reported.

The fight began when Renata's mother accidentally drove her car the wrong way around the carpark at Palmerston Sports Club, Darwin, the court heard.


Prosecutor Hamish Riley said: '[She] has driven the wrong way ... and met a Toyota Landcruiser driving the right way around the carpark.'

The defendant got out and the pair had a verbal exchange before Renata punched the victim once to the side of the face, Riley said.

Defence lawyer David Story said the victim's insult was so antagonistic that Mr Renata qualified for an exemption to sentencing.

He said Renata was born in New Zealand but his mother is Aboriginal.

The victim yelled racist, misogynistic and violent comments at the defendant's mother, Story said.

Renata's wife was in the car at the time and provided a statutory declaration, NT News reported.

She claimed the Landcruiser driver said: "You're f***ing going the wrong way you f***ing black **** ... f***ing black drivers."

Judge Elizabeth Morris agreed with defence.

She said provocation does not excuse assault but the words spoken in this case place the incident in a particular context.

'The law is that unless there are exceptional circumstances he must serve a term of at least three months.'

She said that in this case she found exceptional circumstances.

Renata was sentenced to three months jail, fully suspended.