TWO men who denied assaulting a Warrnambool publican have changed their pleas after being told they would only be fined.
Benjamin Brown, 36, of Spring Street, Hawkesdale, and his brother Glen Brown, 25, of Bostock Street, Warrnambool, were going to contest assault-related charges in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday.
However, the case got off to a rocky start with magistrate Michael Coghlan realising he knew the alleged victim’s father.
Mr Coghlan then gave defence counsels the opportunity to consult their clients, who wanted the magistrate to excuse himself from hearing the lengthy case.
Mr Coghlan then allowed the prosecution to briefly outline its case which involved security camera footage, of varying degrees of quality, which police allege put the brothers at the scene at the time the publican was bashed. The publican suffered a black eye.
Mr Coghlan said it appeared there had been an altercation in which the publican suffered an injury but it seemed the case would be determined by the strength of the victim’s evidence and his credibility.
He said it was a case where guilty pleas would be worth a significant discount in sentencing.
The magistrate offered to convict and fine Ben Brown $750 on a charge of recklessly causing injury.
He has a criminal record.
Glen Brown was fined $400 for assault in company.
After consulting their barristers, the Browns decided to plead guilty to the single charges against them and resolve the case.