- Chaudry Mahmood and his partner were arguing at a fair in Brighouse, Yorkshire
- Mahmood's partner was his former sister-in law, which has caused family rifts
- Witness in his car stopped to take photographs of Mahmood during incident
- Mahmood said 'Asian culture' allows hitting a partner to 'shut them up'
A man punched his girlfriend in the face and justified his actions by claiming it was acceptable in 'Asian culture' to hit women, a court heard.
Chaudry Mahmood, 51, and his former sister-in-law turned partner, were arguing at a funfair in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.
Tensions within the family have been running high since their relationship started around five months ago.
A witness who in their car stopped to take photographs of Mahmood before calling the police.
Prosecutor Natalie Chapman said the passerby witnessed the attack after seeing the victim sitting on the bench.
Ms Chapman said: 'A male was stood up close by and with his right hand he punched her to the side of her face, causing her to move.
'Immediately the witness pulled over, took photos of the defendant and called 999.
'He heard a heated exchange but not what was being said. She looked annoyed and walked towards a car, getting into the driver's seat.
'The defendant then walked over and sat in the passenger seat.'
Mahmood, of Ravensthorpe, initially told police he had only pushed his partner when he was first arrested.
Ms Chapman added: 'He said it was Asian culture, an open hand to the back to the head to shut them up.
'When asked if he'd do anything differently he said "no".'
The victim refused to give a statement to police, the court heard.
Mohammed Arif, mitigating, said: 'She was his sister-in-law and it's not gone down very well within the family.
'They are very upset that the defendant has entered into a relationship with his ex sister-in-law, now his partner, and he's been the subject of harassment by members of the family from both sides.
'He's reported matters to police on numerous occasions and on the day in question they'd gone to get away from the harassment when the family issues have arisen.'
Mr Arif said a disagreement between the couple broke out and the victim hit Mahmood first.
He told magistrates: 'He's then retaliated and accepts he's gone beyond any kind of self-defence.
'He regrets his actions, it was a momentary incident.
'Having been charged with this offence they've waited for this hearing to take place so that they can make a fresh start and move away from the area.'
Mahmood pleaded guilty to assault by beating when he appeared before Kirklees Magistrates' Court.
The case was aggravated because it took place in public and people would have been upset by what they had witnessed, Mahmood was told in court.
They fined him £80 and ordered him to pay £85 prosecution costs plus £30 victim surcharge.
'ASIAN' = MUSLIM 99% OF THE TIME