A Warilla man who shattered his now ex-girlfriend’s nose with a single, drunken punch on Christmas Eve last year has told a court he deeply regrets his actions.
“I think it’s completely wrong and I shouldn’t have done it,” Ashley Palmer told Wollongong District Court on Friday when asked how he felt about attacking his girlfriend of nine years outside the North Gong Hotel.
“I deserve what [is going to] happen in court.”
Prosecution documents tendered to the court said Palmer was the hotel with the victim and his brother playing the pokies when the couple got into an argument.
The pair exited the hotel, still arguing, and walked across the road towards Station Street.
Palmer, who was a few metres behind the woman at first, closed the gap between them and lashed out at her, punching her in the face.
The woman fell to the ground. She was assisted by a security guard from the hotel, while Palmer fled the scene.
The woman was taken to Wollongong Hospital where it was discovered she had fractures to her nose and eye socket, bruising, swelling and nerve damage.
Despite their subsequent split, the woman was in court on Friday to support Palmer and even wrote a letter to the judge praising him.
Meantime, Palmer admitted he’d had a long history of alcohol abuse and had been highly intoxicated at the time he hit the woman.
The court heard he’d had a troubled and unstable childhood which had included regular beatings from his mother, years in the foster care system and multiple changes of school until he left in Year 8.
Despite that, he was in stable employment as a fisherman, the court heard.
Judge Mark Marien will sentence Palmer on Monday.