AN ambitious hard-worker who belted two men after an incident at a Warrnambool nightclub has managed to avoid a conviction but been fined $3000.
Scott Williams, 32, of Nelson Street, Warrnambool, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday to two counts of recklessly causing injury.
In addition to being fined, Williams was banned from the Warrnambool central business district between midnight and 6am for 12 months.
Police told the court that at 2.59am on August 4 this year Williams was on the Gallery nightclub dance floor when he confronted a man who he thought had thrown a bottle, which hit him on the head.
He approached the man and punched him three times to the head, causing a blood nose and bruising and swelling to the victim’s left eye.
Police viewed security camera footage but did not see a bottle thrown.
Williams left the nightclub and was outside at 3.09am when he was approached by a friend of the victim.
Williams punched that man once to the head and he fell to the ground.
The second victim also suffered bruising and swelling to his left eye.
After an appeal through The Standard for information, Williams handed himself in to police.
He told police he “totally believed” the first victim had thrown a bottle and he then punched the second victim when he feared he was going to be assaulted.
Defence counsel Matt Senia said his client had no prior court appearances and security footage in the nightclub showed Williams reacted after being hit by something.
He said Williams’ behaviour was appalling and it was fortunate that no serious injuries were caused.
The solicitor said Williams was extremely remorseful and described the events as the most regrettable incident of his life.
Mr Senia said his client had been a leading salesman for a local abattoir, often travelling overseas, before taking up a management position with a Warrnambool car dealership.
He said a conviction would curtail Williams’ ambition to become a licensed motor vehicle trader and his regular overseas travels.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said Williams was extraordinarily fortunate that more serious injuries were not suffered by the victims.
He said in almost identical circumstances to the second victim other people had suffered serious injuries and even death when they struck their heads on the pavement or roadside furniture.
“There is no justification for your physical aggression,” Mr Klestadt said.
‘‘You made an extremely poor choice to engage in violence.”
The magistrate said that in the circumstances of the offending — alcohol-fuelled violence in central Warrnambool — that it was almost inevitable a conviction would be recorded, but he was prepared to give Williams one opportunity.