Behaviour change order

A MAGISTRATE has ordered a man to take part in a men’s behaviour change program, despite the man insisting he didn’t need to.

The man asked Magistrate Gerard Lethbridge to fine him after pleading guilty to assaulting his girlfriend and smashing a coffee table in the Mildura Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

The court heard the man was at the Mildura Working Man’s Club drinking with his partner during the afternoon of August 26 before the couple went to a house and had some more drinks there.

After they returned home, police told the court the man told his girlfriend he wanted to go to the Sandbar to continue drinking but she told him she felt unwell and wanted to stay home.

He went out to his car and after his partner removed the keys from the car to stop him driving, he became angry.

The court heard the man smashed the couple’s coffee table and shoved the woman.

When she called the police, he took her phone and threw it against a wall, smashing it.

Police arrived and the man was aggressive and abusive towards them, challenging them to fight him.

The man told the court he wasn’t himself because he had too much to drink.

But Mr Lethbridge said “being drunk is not an excuse - it’s not even an explanation”.

Mr Lethbridge asked the man whether he would prefer to be fined or ordered to complete a men’s behaviour change program.

The man said he felt the incident was a one-off and that he did not need to take part in a “sit down” program.

“I’ll take the fine,” he said.

But Mr Lethbridge placed him on a 12-month good behaviour bond, which will require the man to provide proof of completion of such a program.

The man was not convicted.

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