Woman not guilty of charges

A woman has been found not guilty after successfully defending herself against charges of recklessly causing injury, unlawful assault and criminal damage.

Maree McKenzie, 31, of Karong Court, Warrnambool, had been charged with punching Craig Clark and pushing him through a glass window at his unit on October 5 last year.

Mr Clark told the court he blacked out after going through the window and hitting his head on concrete.

He said he had no memory of half the day and had been drinking heavily before the incident at his birthday party.

He agreed with police prosecutor Senior Constable Paul Harris that he had an alcohol reading of .164 after the incident.

Mr Clark’s brother, Scott, said he, his brother and Ms McKenzie had been playing poker when he had gone outside to ring his partner.

He said Craig had come outside and said Ms McKenzie had punched him, but she had denied doing so when he asked her what happened.

She and his brother had then argued before Ms McKenzie punched Craig and he fell through the window. He said a front door had been damaged when he pushed Ms McKenzie, who he claimed was drunk, out of the house. 

Ms McKenzie told the court the incident began after she got Craig Clark a glass of water to sober him up and he had not appreciated it.

Scott Clark was outside having an agitated phone conversation that appeared to upset Craig, who wanted to stick up for his brother, she said.

Craig had gone outside and was agitated when he returned, saying she had hit him.

When she got up to leave, Mr Clark had “jumper punched” her, Ms McKenzie said. She retaliated by pushing him into an arch and Scott Clark had then pushed her into Mr Clark, forcing him through the window, she said.

She left the unit and the front door had been damaged when Scott charged at it while she was holding it closed.

Magistrate Ian von Einem said he had heard contrasting versions of the incident from the two brothers, who were drunk, and Ms McKenzie, who was not.

Mr von Einem said he could not say beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms McKenzie was the offender and dismissed the charges against her.

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