By Cam Lucadou Wells
A 35-year-old mechanic and father of two pleaded guilty to fighting after he was ‘punched by the king’, despite not throwing a punch in a fight on March 7, it said. he told the Dandenong Magistrate’s Court.
During a conversation at the Hallam Hotel bar, the man and his friend bet $50 with another customer on the outcome of the UFC televised fight.
Later, an argument ensued when they approached the boss for their winnings.
This escalated into punches thrown in the parking lot, with most of the bar patrons apparently appearing to lash out at the trio.
The crowd cheered and filmed the fight on their phones, police said.
During the two-minute dispute, the mechanic was knocked down with a punch.
The other two continued to fight until security and staff intervened, the court was told.
All three refused to seek treatment from Ambulance Victoria officers.
The mechanic suffered a cut to the chin and minor scratches.
He later told police he was knocked unconscious during the fight and had no memory of it.
In court on February 3, he said he didn’t want to “ruin each other’s lives” by pushing the case further.
“It shouldn’t have happened. I’m trying to take the appropriate measures so that this never happens again.
“It was just going to be a gamble – that’s all. Unfortunately, I didn’t even throw a punch. I came out and the king hit me.
Magistrate Jacinta Studham told him despite this that he was involved in a fight that could potentially strike fear into other members of the public.
“It’s a fight or fight every day of the week.”
Ms Studham asked the man if it was a good idea to be ‘obviously full’ at the pub just three months after he appeared in court for drunk driving and breaching a lockdown condition.
“I really regret it,” the defendant said, saying he had only had “a few drinks.”
The man had yet to fulfill court orders to attend a traffic injury awareness seminar, a behavior change course and seek counseling for his drinking.
He was on medication for anxiety, depression and alcoholism, he told the court.
Ms Studham noted the mechanic worked hard with supports but was vague about his treatment regimen.
The “hard-working family man” had great prospects if he overcame the hurdle of alcoholism, she said.
But it was a “very difficult to overcome” condition, its treatment was not a “short-term” exercise.
As a guide, Ms Studham ordered the man to detail his mental health plan in writing and provide details of his specialists within three months.
If he did, he would face a fine or a good behavior bond. Otherwise, the judge would impose treatment under a community correction order.
“You impress me as a really genuine and sincere person… a family man and (someone who) works hard,” Ms Studham said.
“You have an excellent chance of putting all of this behind you.”
The other two brawlers had earlier pleaded guilty in Dandenong Magistrate’s Court and were sentenced to diversion orders.