A HEATED argument at a netball final ended with a man being “coward punched”, a court has heard.
Luke Christopher Kensit, 23, of Tobruk Street, Cobden, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Friday to a charge of recklessly causing injury.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Sandra Skilton said Kensit, then 22, and the victim, 21, had been watching an A grade final in Horsham on September 14 last year.
Both men were supporting opposing teams and traded comments throughout the match.
“The banter has become heated at the end of the match,” Sergeant Skilton said, adding Kensit approached the man on the court after the victim’s team had won.
“The accused has punched the victim to the eye socket with a closed fist.”
The victim was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital where he had a titanium plate inserted near his eye and was warned he could have a permanent deformity around the eye socket.
Defence counsel Matt Senia said the accused had been unaware of the injuries he caused the victim until he was interviewed by Warrnambool police on May 18 this year.
Sergeant Skilton said Kensit stated in his record of interview that “he went up to the victim to shut him up and teach him a lesson for being disrespectful to supporters”.
“He insists that he never intended for the injury he caused ... he had no idea how bad the injuries were,” Mr Senia said.
“This is an example of how dangerous one punch can be.”
He said the two men were unknown to each other and had not seen each other since the incident.
Magistrate John Lesser warned Kensit’s actions could have been far worse and cited the case of former Test cricketer David Hookes who was killed in 2004 after he was punched by a bouncer.
“It could have been more serious and instead of being in the magistrates (court), you would have been before a judge in wigs and gowns,” Mr Lesser said.
Kensit was convicted and issued with a two-month suspended sentence.
He was also fined $1500.
“Had it not been for your early plea of guilty I would have imposed an immediate custodial sentence of four months,” Mr Lesser said.