Footballer's CBD ban, fine for assault

A FOOTBALLER has been fined after a hungry visit to Warrnambool’s Courthouse Kitchen café turned violent. 

Angus Chirnside, 25, of Whites Road, Warrnambool, punched and headbutted another man in the café in the early hours of Saturday, July 5 this year. 

The three-time premiership player with the Warrnambool Football Netball Club avoided a conviction after pleading guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Monday to a single account of recklessly causing injury.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Nathan Brown said the accused “by his own admission was intoxicated” when the assault happened. 

“The accused struck the victim with a closed fist. He then headbutted the victim causing swelling and bruising,” Senior Constable Brown said.

He said Chirnside “gave no reason” for the attack when interviewed by police. 

Defence counsel for Chirnside, Matt Senia, said his client was not normally a heavy drinker but had been “doing shots” with friends before the incident. 

“He went out with some friends. He instructs that he usually doesn’t go out at all ... he got to the point where he was more intoxicated than he ever had been in the past,” Mr Senia said. “He is held in very high regard by his coach and his peers.” 

He said Chirnside had met the victim, another footballer, at a previous game.

“There was some initial animosity that started on the football field,” Mr Senia said.

Chirnside could not remember why he struck the man but had since apologised in person. 

Magistrate John Lesser told Chirnside “alcohol is no excuse for bad behaviour ... otherwise you are of good character”.

“If you drink to excess and get out of control, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Mr Lesser said. 

Chirnside was fined $1500 and given an exclusion order from the Warrnambool CBD.

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