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Short jail term for hip-hop artist who punched girlfriend

Stormey Coleman beat his girlfriend until she couldn't hear.

Stormey Coleman beat his girlfriend until she couldn't hear.

An American hip-hop artist who inflicted hearing loss on his girlfriend by repeatedly punching her ear has avoided a long jail term, having served six days in custody.

Stormey Courtney Coleman, 37, a one-time member of hip-hop group Outlawz - founded by slain rapper Tupac Shakur - grabbed the hair of his then girlfriend and punched her three times on the left ear and cheek during an argument in her home on June 7 last year.

The assault left the woman without hearing for between two and three months, during which time she was in constant anxiety about permanent hearing loss and could not exercise or shower properly for fear of suffering further damage to her eardrum.

Coleman last week pleaded guilty in Melbourne Magistrates Court to recklessly causing serious injury, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault.

His plea hearing was told that Coleman, originally from Chicago, left the US to avoid further violence as four of his brothers had been murdered.

Magistrate Donna Bakos on Monday sentenced Coleman to six days in custody, but ruled that time had been served because he had been locked up since he was arrested last week.

Ms Bakos also ruled Coleman serve a 12-month community corrections order with conviction, enrol in a program aimed at reducing the risk of re-offending and complete 150 hours of unpaid community work.

The magistrate said Coleman's offending was extremely serious and had a major impact on his victim physically, emotionally and financially, as the woman had been unable to perform in her job as a sales consultant while she was without hearing.

But Ms Bakos took into account Coleman's remorse and guilty plea, which had spared the woman having to relive her "terrifying" ordeal in court.

The woman regained full hearing about three months after she was assaulted, the court was told last week.

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