‘Pin-up’ couple in court

A WARRNAMBOOL magistrate was left shaking his head after a dysfunctional couple were in court again for assaulting each other.

Magistrate Michael Coghlan said Clement Read Rhyne, 39, and Peta Plowright, 33, both of Wickham Court, must be pin-up celebrities for police, ambulance officers, hospital staff and courts. “And the star witnesses in these cases are each other,” he said.

Mr Rhyne appeared in a contest mention charged with assaulting Ms Plowright on AFL grand final day and again on October 19.

On September 29, Mr Rhyne was alleged to have grabbed Ms Plowright and thrown her against a stack of CDs. Police alleged he shoved her to the chest, saying “you’re not going anywhere” but she punched him and left.

On October 19, Mr Rhyne was alleged to have abused Ms Plowright, threw her around a lounge room and she cut her hand. Mr Rhyne left but returned angry and aggressive. He is alleged to have slapped Ms Plowright. In each case Mr Rhyne claimed to have acted in self-defence.

Mr Rhyne was also alleged to have been drink-driving on February 17 when he crashed into a fence on Daltons Road.  He had recorded an alcohol reading of .186 and was unlicensed. The offences also breached a previously suspended jail sentence. The case was adjourned until December 11 so a psychiatric report could be prepared.

Ms Plowright also claimed to have acted in self-defence on October 13 and 19 during incidents involving Mr Rhyne.

The couple have been in a relationship for two years and have intervention orders against each other. Mr Rhyne is alleged to have suffered scratches to his face and a bite to his hand.

Some of Mr Rhyne’s charges were adjourned for further hearing on December 11 while other charges involving Ms Plowright were adjourned until Valentine’s Day next year.