A 37-year-old man who choked his former partner on two separate occasions, once using a knife to threaten her, had been on a slow decline since losing his job in 2016.
Christopher Halson pleaded guilty to a string of charges at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday after receiving a sentence indication.
The court was told on March 25, 2017, Halson was at his former partner's Sebastopol house when an altercation started between them after he tried to take her handbag.
As Halson lunged at the bag, he grabbed the victim's throat and choked her, telling her he wanted to kill her and called her offensive names.
The father-of-two then grabbed the handbag and took $60 cash and food vouchers while the victim fled in fear to a neighbour's house.
Two months later in May, another altercation started between Halson and the victim at her Sebastopol home.
The court was told Halson started to choke the victim and called her offensive names before taking a knife and standing over her, telling her he was going to kill her.
The victim fled to a neighbour's house and later returned home where she found a note from Halson saying he was sorry and he loved her.
Halson told police he could not remember the incidents.
Earlier in 2017, Halson was caught driving an unregistered vehicle with false plates along Sutton Street. Police checks revealed Halson's driver's licence had expired and he was driving unlicenced.
A long police summary outlining other offending was given to the magistrate to read, rather than the usual practice of reading it in an open court.
Defence barrister Jacob Kantor said his client experienced a slow decline in 2016 after he lost his job.
He said Halson, who appeared via videolink from custody, was keen to treat his drug issues and was producing clean drug screening while in prison.
"He is a 37-year-old. His priority is to remain drug-free, his children and a job," Mr Kantor said.
After being assessed for a communiy corrections order, Halson pleaded guilty to the charges, including two counts of recklessly causing injury.
Magistrate Franz Holzer told Halson he needed to be aware of how he affected other people and the safety of those people.
He was sentenced to 101 days behind bars, which he has already served, and an 18-month community corrections order, which includes 100 hours of unpaid community work and relevant programs.
Mr Holzer said he hoped Halson could commit to the programs as he believed he would benefit from them.
If Halson did not plead guilty, he would have been jailed for nine months.