A WARRNAMBOOL father of two young boys in court for a fifth time after allegedly committing offences of violence has avoided a jail sentence after the main prosecution witness failed to appear.
Mark John Greene, 30, of Fairfax Avenue, had pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court during November last year to unlawful assault.
More serious charges of intentionally and recklessly causing injury were withdrawn by the prosecution and the case was adjourned for a plea hearing in December.
At that hearing, Mr Greene unsuccessfully applied to have his guilty plea revoked after deciding he wanted to plead not guilty to charges.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt ordered the recording of the last hearing on November 7 played in court, which clearly showed that Mr Greene entered the guilty plea on his own behalf to magistrate Ron Saines.
Mr Klestadt refused the application to revoke the plea and the hearing went ahead, which also activated a previously-suspended, two-month jail term.
Mr Greene received a total effective sentence of three months to be served in jail.
He appealed against the conviction and sentence to Warrnambool County Court yesterday, but the main prosecution witness failed to appear, which led to the prosecution being forced to withdraw the charge.
The suspended sentence remains and Mr Greene is free to remain in the community.
Police alleged in the magistrates court last year that Mr Greene punched a man to the face five times after a verbal exchange.
Mr Klestadt said it was the fifth time Mr Greene had faced offences of violence and enough was enough.