Man clobbered with coal shovel

A couple's drunken argument turned violent when a woman threw a cellphone into an open fire and then struck her partner over the head with a coal shovel.

Lisa Christine Smith, 52, of Kerepehi was sentenced to three months of home detention and issued with a final warning for violence when she appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Wednesday, on charges of wounding with intent to injure and breach of a protection order.

Smith and her victim had been in an on-and-off relationship and she was staying with him at the time of the incident in Paeroa on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.

According to the summary of facts on the case, she had been out shopping that day and had returned home about 3pm. One of her purchases had been a bottle of wine, and she began drinking it.

Her partner also began drinking and before long they were both intoxicated. They began arguing.

Smith's partner had lost his cellphone and he started looking for it. He suspected she had taken it, so he picked up her handbag and tipped the contents onto the floor.

One of the items that fell out was a cellphone. Smith and her partner owned the same kind of cellphone and, before he had a chance to determine whether the phone on the floor was his, she picked it up and threw it into the fireplace.

He grabbed a coal shovel and attempted to retrieve the phone from the fire. She grabbed the shovel off him and struck him over the head with it, inflicting a five centimetre cut on the top of his head.

Smith was asked to leave the house but refused, so he called 111. She departed shortly before the police arrived.

In court, Smith's counsel Mike Curran said the relationship was now over.

"She never wants to see this man again," he said.

Curran said the altercation was effectively "tit-for-tat", however "she knows she is the one facing court. She knows what it is she is being punished for".

Smith had now moved away from where she had been living, and had "substantially reduced" her alcohol intake.

The now former couple had also taken part in a restorative justice meeting. As Judge Noel Cocurullo noted, it was not exactly a reconciliatory process.

"It feels more like a truce at 50 paces ... an agreement to disagree."

It was not Smith's first time for the court for violent offending. She had earlier been convicted on a charge of assault with a weapon, following an earlier altercation with the same victim in November 2016.

"Violence in all its forms, particularly in domestic situations, is always serious," the judge said.

"Stay away from alcohol. That's the big advice of the court."




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