Alcohol the worst drug, assault man tells court

A GOLD prospector, who claimed to have been thrown off Abbotsford Bridge not long after he assaulted his male partner, says alcohol is “probably the worst drug of all”.

The man appeared at Mildura Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to plead guilty to assault over the Christmas Day attack on his ­partner at a Yelta campsite last year.

He admitted kicking the other man in the face, although said he “didn’t kick him hard”.

After the Christmas Day argument between the pair, the man said he was himself assaulted by someone else and then thrown from Abbotsford Bridge into the Murray River below as he made his way back to Yelta from Curlwaa.

He said he floated about 100 metres downstream before making it to shore.

The court heard the man decided to stop drinking from New Year’s Day and had since begun seeking his fortune in Victoria’s goldfields, prospecting around Ararat and Dunolly.

The man brought a 19th cent­ury coin he found while prospecting to court.

“That must have been very ­exciting for you,” Magistrate Greg­ory McNamara said.

The man was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.

“You have got a lot of history there (but) it does seem to me that you’ve changed your life significantly,” Mr McNamara said.

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