Prisoner: 'Can I stay in jail longer?'

A 25-YEAR-old South Grafton man, who head butted his partner on the steps of Grafton Police Station, asked to have a six-month non-parole period waived from his 12-month jail sentence.

Jai Anthony Dickson faced Grafton Local Court yesterday via a video link after pleading guilty to two charges of common assault on his partner of seven years and mother of his three children, aged 3, 2 and 1.

"Excuse me, can I do the whole 12 months," Dickson asked of magistrate Robyn Denes. "No," was the reply.

Ms Denes had earlier tried to convince Dickson to serve his time at the Aboriginal rehabilitation centre near Tabulam called Balund-a.

But Dickson was adamant he did not want to serve his time there, and had a belief he had been there in 2008. The centre officially opened in 2009.

The police facts said Dickson approached his partner while she was "socialising" in Market Square, Grafton, on May 18, after driving past her and yelling abuse from his car.

After more yelling he punched her on the right side of her face and pushed her into a garden.

She fled down Prince St and Dickson followed her in a car. She arrived at Grafton Police Station and waited on the steps for a short time.

Dickson had parked his car outside the Sheriff's Office and approached the victim and pushed her in the back. He ran past her into the station and yelled: "Do you want me to flog her, because I am going to (expletive) flog her."

Police said Dickson left the station in an agitated manner approached the woman and head butted her to the front of her face.

Police raced to the woman's aid, subdued Dickson and brought him inside to be charged. Dickson's defence solicitor said her client had been in and out of jail for much of his life and experienced a lot of domestic violence growing up.

She said he was on ice and had been "up" for four days when he committed the offences against his partner.

The prosecution said the charges and Dickson's criminal history made a full-time custodial sentence mandatory.

Dickson interjected, telling the court he had been out of trouble for three years.

"Why are you back in trouble," Ms Denes said.

"I don't know," Dickson said. He also claimed he had done nothing but "put his hands on someone".

"I should have pleaded not guilty and put all the evidence out," he said.

Ms Denes said she would discount Dickson's sentence because of his guilty plea.

She said his story was not unusual for a young Aboriginal men growing up in desperate circumstance and ending in the wrong end of the criminal justice system.

She noted he did not seem ready to make the changes he needed to make to turn his life around.

Dickson was sentenced to 12 months' jail from May 18, and will be eligible for release on parole on November 17.



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