A PARTNER with a poor criminal history has decided to contest criminal charges after being told he would receive a six-month jail term.
Whare Pahina, 42, of Balmoral Road, Warrnambool, appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court for a contest mention hearing.
Police claimed Mr Pahina and a woman had been in a relationship for two years and police were called on June 5.
When Mr Pahina got home that day he kicked in the front door, breaking the door chain.
He then was alleged to have elbowed his partner to the face, splitting her lip and chipping a tooth.
Mr Pahina then pushed her, causing her to fall and the woman smacked her head on tiles, causing a cut to her head.
He then put her in the shower with her clothes on because of the large amount of blood caused by the laceration.
A witness said there was a violent argument and screaming.
When police arrived the woman was in bed wet with her clothes on and she said Mr Pahina had broke her mobile phone.
The woman did not cooperate with police by providing a signed statement but she told officers at the scene what had happened.
Ambulance officers will also be called to give evidence at a contested hearing.
Solicitor Xavier Farrelly said his client had issues with substance abuse and Mr Pahina denied the allegations.
Mr Pahina told his lawyer the woman bit his hand when she was trying to take his phone and she fell over which led to her injury.
Mr Pahina has already spent 38 days in custody and has a prior court appearance for similar offending.
Magistrate Michael Coghlan said such incidents could escalate to someone suffering serious injuries or being killed, with a woman killed every week in Australia due to domestic violence.
He said sometimes victims did not cooperate with police for a variety of reasons, that made it hard for police to prove charges and the courts to impose suitable penalties.
The magistrate told the woman, who was in court, that she risked a third similar incident happening again in the future if she continued in the relationship.
"I'm concerned this will not be the last time," Mr Coghlan said.
The magistrate warned Mr Pahina that if all the charges were proven he risked serving a prison term of up to 18 months.
He offered to jail him for six months if he immediately entered guilty pleas.
Mr Pahina knocked back the offer and a contested hearing has been set down for November 11.
Mr Coghlan said that unfortunately by that time Mr Pahina would have spent five-and-a-half months in custody and he was "rolling the dice" over effectively 15 days' imprisonment.