A PORT Fairy father concerned about the welfare of his 13-year-old daughter assaulted a 21-year-old man while trying to find her, a court heard yesterday.
Stephen John Bonney, 46, of Reardon Street, pleaded guilty to unlawful assault when he appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday.
Police alleged that last October, while looking for his daughter, Bonney went to an Elizabeth Street unit where he confronted the man.
There was a verbal exchange before Bonney grabbed the man in a headlock. The victim said he felt his eyes being gouged and was in pain.
Police interviewed Bonney 11 days later and he admitted to the assault.
Defence counsel Pat McComish said his client received a call from his distressed and tearful daughter, who told him she had been offered drugs.
He said Bonney knew his daughter had been at Elizabeth Street units earlier in the day and he was aware of the reputation of the people who lived there.
Mr McComish said Bonney later became aware she was not at the units.
Magistrate Greg McNamara said it was lucky the victim had only suffered minor injuries.
He said it was a concern to the courts that so many people resorted to physical violence to resolve their differences.
The magistrate said he accepted Bonney was concerned about the welfare of his daughter and it was an emotional situation.
Bonney has been in court twice for assault-related offending. He was convicted and fined $700, with $71.40 costs.