A WARRNAMBOOL racehorse owner who assaulted a jumps protester has managed to avoid having a criminal record.
Jason Michael White, 28, of Caroville Drive, pleaded guilty to assault in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court, where magistrate Jonathan Klestadt allowed the accused man to go through the diversion court process.
White will have to write a letter of apology and donate $500 to the RSPCA.
Police alleged that on August 28 last year White was at Sandown racecourse in Springvale. He was the part-owner of a horse racing on the day.
Also at the track were a number of jumps racing protesters, members of the Coalition For Protection Of Race Horses, including Bruce Poon.
White approached the group of protesters, who had entered the racecourse and unfurled a banner. White ripped the banner in half, placed his left hand on the right side of Mr Poon’s face and pushed him to the ground.
White held Mr Poon on the ground by the face until police officers arrived and separated the men. Mr Poon did not defend himself or retaliate but kept chanting “there’s no excuse for animal abuse, ban jumps racing”.
Mr Poon was also ejected from the racecourse as he breached a condition of entry by unfurling the banner.
When interviewed by police White said he would not refer to his actions as assault and he just wanted Mr Poon to be quiet until police arrived.