A magistrate has jailed a Lake Heights man over a sickening episode of domestic violence that left a woman "choke slammed" to the point of unconsciousness.
An apprehended violence order was meant to protect the woman following earlier violent encounters with Christopher John Hebblewhite, including one assault that left her with a gaping 10-15cm head wound.
But the order did nothing to deter the 37-year-old the evening of Boxing Day last year, when the two argued over the woman's request for a lift.
They fought over a set of car keys before Hebblewhite punched the woman in the face and "choke slammed" her to the ground, where she lost consciousness for a short time. She called a friend, and later emergency services, after she regained consciousness.
The court heard the assault was only the latest committed by Hebblewhite in defiance of court orders.
Appearing via AVL in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday, Hebblewhite hung his head as magistrate Gabriel Fleming ordered him to serve three years behind bars, with a non-parole period of two years.
"Absolutely appalling," Magistrate Fleming said. "And at the time you were on a community corrections order for assaulting her.
"[A December 2019] offence also occurred in her home, also involving a high level of violence ... she's ended up going to hospital with her head requiring gluing to close the laceration.
"And in March you're at it again. This is your modus operandi. You've breached your AVO, police arrive, blood everywhere, an injury to the head. It's absolutely disgraceful, criminal conduct."
"I find it astonishing that you've only recently developed insight into the fact that you are the person at fault here."
Hebblewhite's lawyer earlier appealed for leniency, citing Hebblewhite's drug use at the time, history of poor mental health, exposure to family violence in childhood and the risk he could become institutionalised.
"It was initially a plea of not guilty, now he accepts that he's the problem here. It's not his partner, it's not anything else, it starts with him and I have noticed over the past couple of months that he is showing that insight," his lawyer said.
But police prosecutor Sergeant David Weaver argued a jail term was the only fitting penalty.
"This is a classic case of domestic violence: it's a woman taking a beating after a petty argument. There's an easy way to avoid institutionalisation and that's to stop committing offences. This type of behaviour needs to be denounced in the strongest possible terms."
With time served, Hebblewhite will become eligible for parole on March 27, 2023.