The sister of a woman assaulted by her now ex-husband says she's outraged at the "light" sentence handed down for his second offence for violence against a woman within five years.
On Wednesday, Dom Nash was convicted of assault on a person in a family relationship and sentenced to 6 months home detention, 12 months no drinking and drugs, and 12 months probation after assaulting his wife at the time on December 31 2020. Newshub has chosen to protect the identity of the victim.
It was his second punishment in relation to violence against women after he was convicted of assault with reckless disregard. In that case, he was sentenced to six months home detention, 18 months no drinking and drugs, and 18 months probation after he threw a glass at Auckland woman Fiona Tarlton's face during a night out in November 2017.
The pair weren't known to each other before the incident, which took place during his engagement party at the Vodka Room in Ponsonby.
Tarlton, the daughter of the late aquarium founder Kelly Tarlton, has told Newshub of the long-lasting impact the random and violent attack had on her life. In part two of this story, Tarlton calls into question the fairness of the justice system for victims and reacts to Nash's second conviction.
In an interview with Newshub, Jess Williams, the sister of the Nash's now ex-wife, outlines a number of disturbing claims against him, alleging he maintained an ongoing pattern of abuse against her sister during their four-year marriage.
He also allegedly breached his bail conditions to torment her after the assault and is using manipulative tactics to aggravate their current situation further.
Nash's meat business Avon's Butchery is well-known online, using social media marketing via popular sports stars and influencers. The Instagram page for the Glen Innes shop boasts 16,000 followers and is often seen being touted by reputable Kiwis.
As well as the content collaborations, Avon's Butchery frequently pairs up with other local brands like Winger's Suzuki and Pepper & Me.
With a public-facing position and a business that relies on the support of the local consumers, his former sister-in-law says it is in the interest of others to know about the pain he's caused her sister, believing after the "disappointing and shocking" results in court this week she's left with no choice but to speak publicly following the outburst on New Year's Eve that changed their families lives.
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Newshub's attempts to verify specific claims with Nash directly were ignored. On his behalf, Nash's lawyer rejected the opportunity to contribute a comment to this story.
When Jess Williams woke up to multiple missed calls throughout the early hours of January 1 2021 from her sister, she immediately sensed something was possibly wrong.
Once awake, she quickly returned a call to her sister, who on the other end of the phone was "absolutely distraught, balling her eyes out".
"The first thing she said was 'Dom's in prison'," Williams told Newshub.
Williams worked hard to instil calmness before her sister explained her experience with Nash the night prior.
She says her sister told her Nash had been "very intoxicated" early in the evening at a New Year's Eve party the couple were attending at a friend's place,. She says he then started ignoring her, giving her bad looks and implying that his wife was flirting with other people's husbands.
Her sister explained she tried to ignore her husband's behaviour and put it down to an understanding he may have drunk too much.
When the couple went to bed at 1am in their friend's guest bedroom, Williams' sister felt Nash "flipped the switch" and "let rip with the verbal abuse", using toxic language that really upset her.
The couple's baby who was five months old at the time was in the room in her cot.
Williams explains her sister told her the verbal abuse then turned physical.
"He started pushing her, slapping her across the face... not letting her get out of the room, and picking up their daughter and threatening to leave, who by this time had woken up."
When he put their child down again, Williams says he pushed her sister onto the bed and began biting her shoulder.
Newshub has corroborated this version of events with what was used as testimony in the court hearing which resulted in the conviction.
"She felt like he was going to kill her, and she said she felt like she couldn't get away and she was trapped. While she was telling me this she was breaking down and I was trying not to cry as well," she says.
Newshub understands she managed to get away from Nash and the friends who they were staying with intervened, separating them until police arrived.
Nash was arrested and charged following the incident on New Year's Day.
Williams says seeing her sister so distraught throughout the next few days was one of the hardest moments they've had together.
"She was just a shell of a person. I've never seen her so upset, so shaken, so scared, so fragile in my life. It was horrible. Obviously, she showed me the bite marks which at the time were very fresh. I've never seen her cry so much in my life."
Williams says Nash tried to justify his actions by claiming he doesn't remember anything, and that he blacked out due to a combination of the alcohol and Ritalin he takes for ADHD.
"Everything that came from his fingertips through messages or mouth afterwards just felt like piss poor excuses and justification. He never took accountability and said 'this is what I did, I own it, I stuffed up, I really have hurt my wife and affected her life and I take responsibility and I am sorry' he never said that. It was always an excuse for his ADHD."
Williams' sister left Nash following the assault and their parents now refuse to have anything to do with him.
A protection order and a parenting order are currently in play to ensure safe visitation.
She says part of Nash's bail conditions, he wasn't allowed to contact his ex, however constantly sent her pages and pages of messages on Facebook and Instagram, "using emotional manipulation to control her feelings".
In the aftermath, Williams' sister also suffered nightmares and suffers through moments of fear.
Just six weeks ago, Williams said Nash saw her sister at the supermarket and waited for her in the car park before making an attempt to talk to her.
The incident caused a lot of anxiety when he allegedly approached her car and began verbally abusing causing Williams' sister to have a panic attack.
Williams also says her sister has since told her about the "prolonged and intentional" physical abuse she endured throughout their relationship that started as early as their honeymoon, just months after assaulting Fiona Tarlton.
"She didn't tell anybody, and I think it comes down to the fact we all knew what he did to Fiona at their engagement party, and a lot of us including my mum, myself and one of her best friends asked her if this was the person she wanted to be sharing her life with, and that he can hurt a woman, we asked 'are you sure you want to marry this man?'"
As police pursued their investigation following the assault in January, Nash originally entered a not guilty plea all while allegedly telling his former wife that he loved her and wanted her back.
"When he plead not guilty that was just the final nail in the coffin for her and she said 'I'm done with this man'."
Williams' sister committed to pressing charges against her husband, and the incident was the final straw to leave Nash, a move that has turned her life on its head.
They say he can go on, living life as normal with a curfew of 8pm for six months whereas his for'mer wife's life looks substantially different.
"It's changed her life, she's living week-to-week until she gets back into work, she's raising her daughter all by herself as a single mum."
After sentencing on Wednesday, Williams says her sister felt "defeated".
"She was crying and said 'this is why people don't come forward when they've been abused because they just get a slap on the wrist and this wasn't the first time he's hurt a woman and it won't be the last. I know the justice system has let us down."
Despite the hard times now, Williams is confident her sister is getting stronger each day and hopes others who are stuck in abusive relationships know that it is possible to leave and create a new life free of anxiety and danger.
"My sister realised what her worth was."
The lawyer representing Dom Nash told Newshub there's no comment to make on the matter, citing: "It's a matter of public record."
Newshub's attempts to put specific claims directly to Nash were ignored.
Where to find help and support:
- Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
- Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
- Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584