A man who bit off part of his girlfriend's ear has told a court he was in excrutiating pain, with the woman "squeezing, pulling and twisting" his genitals when he made the decision to clamp down.
Delivering sworn evidence from a jail cell, Tristan James Kent broke down in tears Monday afternoon as he recalled the bloody climax to a loud and bitter domestic dispute at his Mount Warrigal home on January 12.
"I was scared," he claimed, in evidence before Wollongong Local Court Magistrate Mark Douglass. "I was in a great deal of pain and I didn't mean to hurt her, I didn't want to hurt her, I just wanted her off me."
The 29-year-old is claiming he acted in self-defence after the pair's drunken quarrel turned physical. He denies he ever choked the then-19-year-old, as she alleges, and claims she became verbally and physically abusive towards him and ignored his repeated requests for her to leave.
The court heard the couple had come home arguing after socialising with neighbours. The woman, then aged 19, claims the fight was over Kent's bad joke; he alleges she had "smoked cones" all day and night and started "getting stuck into me".
"She was calling me 'selfish c---', 'useless prick', 'dickhead', telling me to 'go f--- myself' and overall demanding that I get her some weed. I told her it was late, we were both intoxicated and I jsut wanted to go to sleep and she should too."
He said he returned to the neighbours' house to escape the conflict but came back home after about 20 minutes because he could hear the woman screaming, crashing and cursing.
"My anxiety got the better of me and I had to return home to check on my house and its contents and try and calm [the woman] down."
In court, Kent said he took the woman's phone, telling her he would return it to her once she packed up and left, and that she later knocked the device out of his hand while trying to get it back and "started to go crazy".
He said she reached inside his pocket for his phone but, finding it empty - moved her hand to the front of his pants and grabbed him in an "extremely aggressive" way.
"I've never felt anything like it," Kent told the court.
"Straight away, it took my breath away and my legs buckled and I sort of collapsed against her back.
"She didn't let go. She continued squeezing and pulling, just pulling as hard as she could, downwards."
"It was excructiating."
He described pushing, shoving and squeezing "pressure points" on the woman's arm in a bid to get her to let go. He said he squeezed, pinched and twisted her arm skin, only for her to squeeze harder still.
"At that point that's when I bit her in the ear," he said.
"She flinched .. she just pulled forward, pulled away."
"Did she let go of you?" defence lawyer Justine Hall asked.
Video earlier played to the court showed the woman being interviewed by police from her Shellharbour Hospital bed, with a bandage wrapped around her head, bruises surrounding her neck and a bite mark visible on her arm.
The woman repeatedly replied "I don't recall" and "possibly" throughout almost two hours of slow-moving cross examination earlier Monday. She firmly denied having punched, kicked and slapped Kent in the lead-up to the bite.
The hearing continues, Wednesday.