16 Nov 2015

Nelson man with 'history of violence' jailed

2:08 pm on 16 November 2015

A Nelson man described by a judge as having an entrenched history of violence has been sent to prison for just over three years.

Nelson District Court

Nelson District Court Photo: RNZ

Scott Anthony Harting was sentenced in the Nelson District Court today after a jury earlier found him guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice and assaulting a woman while a protection order was in place.

The lead charge was in relation to a letter and phone call from Harting to one of his former partner's children.

Judge Michael Crosbie said the contacts were an attempt to convince her to "somehow help make the charges go away". He told the court the phone calls revealed a level of aggression and control.

Harting, 38, was also sentenced for a breach of release conditions and - on charges he admitted earlier - driving while disqualified, which Judge Michael Crosbie noted were on top of multiple previous driving offences.

The victim stood to read her statement but launched into a personal attack on Harting, before Judge Crosbie warned her she had to comply with the law.

"I stuck up for you, you fat thing now. You ruined my life and my son's life. What you did to me was despicable," the victim began before she was called to order.

She then explained how she had been in a relationship with Harting for 13 or 14 years but they separated in 2013.

She described how Harting had "beaten her black and blue" over the years they were together, how he had stabbed her with a knife and had tried to suffocate her. She was too afraid to go to the police, and she now hated herself for having kept the environment going.

The victim said Harting would "lay down the charm and promises", and she had always believed him.

Harting's former partner continued with a description of how he had told everyone she was "crazy" and that he deserved to pay for what he had done.

"I'm sick - I have health issues, and I think he will kill me when he comes out of prison. Protection orders don't work. I beg you to keep him in prison as long as you can," she told the court.

Judge Crosbie said it was Harting's "entrenched history of violence" that played a part in his decision to send him to jail for three years and three months.