Bottle smashing episode leads Port Fairy man to jail

SMASHING a port bottle against his partner’s car in Port Fairy has landed a man in jail.

Robert Bridges, 44, of Princes Highway, Port Fairy, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday to seven charges. 

The offences of breaching intervention orders, recklessly causing injury and failing to answer bail also breached a three-month suspended jail sentence.

Bridges was jailed for three months and on release from prison will have to complete a 12-month community corrections order which includes 70 hours’ community work, alcohol and mental health treatment and a men’s behaviour change program.

Bridges and his partner have been involved in an on-again, off-again relationship for a number of years. 

There have been intervention orders in place, with one condition that he not be within 200 metres of the woman when he has been drinking.

In March this year the couple were at a Drouin caravan park in Gippsland.

Bridges starting drinking while watching car races on TV. He later accused his partner of having an affair and pushed her.

At 3.30pm on November 30 Bridges and the woman had been shopping. They argued and he tried to drive off despite not having a licence.

The woman opened the car door and tried to grab the keys. Bridges struck her to the face, causing a cut.

On Tuesday the couple were staying at a Port Fairy caravan park. 

Bridges started drinking beer and port.

By 4pm he had become abusive and aggressive and walked up the street.

The woman went for a drive at 6.30pm looking for her partner. 

Bridges smashed a port bottle against the side window of their car.

At midnight Bridges returned to the caravan park extremely drunk. 

He told the woman to get out. She took refuge in a toilet block and called police.

Defence counsel Jonathan Makary submitted Bridges’ offences were at the lower end of the scale but the magistrate disagreed, saying they involved assaults.

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