Clash spills out on to street

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A Taiwanese couple both have convictions to their names after a domestic fight spilled out into streets of Queenstown.

Hsien-Chen Chiu, 34, admitted assaulting a female, Hsien-Chen (Fion) Yeh, between September 1 and 2, while Yeh, 35, admitted assaulting Chen.

Both applied for discharges without conviction – but both applications were declined by Judge Dominic Flatley at Queenstown District Court on Monday.

Yeh had attacked Chen when he returned to their accommodation after skiing, “scratching at his chest, neck and face”.

Chen pushed her away twice, but both times she got back up and continued her attack.

The pair wrestled and Chen placed Yeh into a “bear hug” from behind, and then put her in a “head lock”.

“She thrashed about and bit Mr Chen on his arms and face,” Flatley said.

“Eventually they parted.”

Chen then slapped her twice across the face with an open palm.

The couple, who are still in a relationship, continued arguing and wrestling for hours before moving outside.

The property manager witnessed the fracas and called police.

Yeh received minor bruising to her neck and face and a small cut to the inside of her mouth while Chen sustained scratches and soreness.

Judge Flatley said the incident was “prolonged” and while neither party had a criminal history, the assaults were to the head and face areas of each other.

Both were remorseful.

Flatley found the offending in the “low to moderate” category, but made a point of saying it was “not minor”.

However, he could not find any real consequences of a conviction which would support either or both being discharged without conviction.

“In my view, this type of violent offending must be appropriately marked.

“It cannot be minimised.

“Consequences can result in changed behaviour not only for those directly involved, but for others and the message needs to be sent loud and clear.

“I cannot be satisfied that the consequences of a conviction here outweigh the gravity of the offending.”

Both defendants were convicted and discharged.