Queenstown ski worker fined for attacking partner

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A Queenstown ski technician who dragged his girlfriend to the bath and held her by the throat under cold water has been fined. 

Frenchman Remy Rene Jacques Puddu, 31, pleaded guilty in Queenstown District Court yesterday (Monday) to assaulting his partner at their flat on September 21. 

The court heard that the couple – together for 13 months – had been out drinking separately when a “mildly intoxicated” Puddu arrived home to find bloody tissues on the floor and his girlfriend in bed asleep. 

Puddu’s girlfriend had been self-mutilating and Puddu reacted by spraying her with water, and pinching and slapping her legs to wake her up. 

She woke up screaming and a struggle ensued, with Puddu dragging her down the hall five metres to the bathroom. He held her down in the bathtub, with his right arm under her throat, dousing her in cold water for 15-20 seconds. 

He then left and started packing when his girlfriend came in and punched him in the face. He dragged her back to the bedroom and punched her three times in the head. 

The victim grabbed a small knife to fend him off and Puddu received a small cut on the arm. 

The victim, who also faced charges in court, suffered bruising to her left shoulder and eye. 

Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin said that in explanation, Puddu said he took his girlfriend to the shower to calm her down. 

Remy’s lawyer says his client “accepts he didn’t deal with [the self-harm issue] appropriately” and is remorseful.
“He totally accepts what he did was stupid and wasn’t going to help.” 

Judge Dominic Flatley told Puddu that what he did was “completely unacceptable” but because Puddu is leaving New Zealand later this month when his visa expires, he fined him $1000 and ordered to pay court costs.

Not guilty plea

The Alexandra man charged with indecently assaulting a Japanese woman last month has pleaded not guilty.

The 57-year-old self-employed consultant was granted continued interim name suppression in Queenstown District Court yesterday (Monday).

It’s alleged the man, who was arrested on September 11, assaulted a 38-year-old woman at the Tucker Beach Reserve area.

The woman lives in Queenstown and attends a local English language school.

The man has been bailed and is due to reappear in court on October 17 for a status hearing.