‘Positive steps’ after ex-partner assault


A Chilean chef who assaulted his then-estranged partner in a Queenstown bar last year has been discharged without conviction.

Juan Francisco Munizaga-Correa, 30, previously admitted being a male assaulting Sophia Gomez on December 28.

Defence lawyer Collins says while Munizaga-Correa was not proud of his behaviour that evening, what he had done since the incident was “significant”.

He had completed 67 hours’ voluntary community work; made a $250 donation to Women’s Refuge in Dunedin; and attended four counselling sessions focusing on alcohol use, communication and anger management.

He also told Immigration New Zealand about the incident.

Cook says the incident occurred about 3am after Munizaga-Correa saw his then-estranged partner at a bar in Queenstown.

He grabbed her, forced her back onto a table and kissed her. He later hugged her and refused to let her go.

After following her outside the bar, he grabbed the victim by the hair, causing her to fall backwards.

Cook says there were signs of a “repeat nature” of offending.

But she took account of the positive steps he had taken since, his future employment prospects, travel hopes and immigration status.