Ballan man assaults victim inside police station

A BALLAN man was so overcome with road rage that he grabbed a fellow road user by throat and smashed him against the window of a police station foyer, a court has heard. 

Ballarat Magistrates Court on Tuesday heard police members were watching when Stephen Welsh, 41, who his lawyer said had long had anger issues, assaulted the victim inside the Ballan police station on August 27 last year.

The court heard the pair had earlier been involved in a collision near Ballan and both went to the police station when unable to stop arguing. 

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Michelle Kilburn said Welsh and the victim continued to argue in the foyer of the station before Welsh grabbed the man by the throat and pushed him up against a window. 

The court heard the victim provided a statement to police about the assault and that Welsh made full admissions during a police interview on February 7. 

Welsh pleaded guilty to one charge of unlawful assault. 

Welsh's defence lawyer, Shelley Buchecker, said her client had sought counselling for anger issues in the past, adding this offending "seems like a brash display of violence".

Ms Buchecker said Welsh had experienced significant family issues most of his life, adding he now had his own "personal motivation" for staying out of trouble. 

Ms Buchecker, noting her client could face immediate jail due to significant prior convictions, asked magistrate Cynthia Toose to consider suspending any jail term. 

While Ms Toose labelled the incident "totally inappropriate" and "ugly", she did agree a suspended jail term was warranted. 

Ms Toose sentenced Welsh to two months' jail, wholly suspended for 12 months. 

She said if not for the guilty plea Welsh would have been immediately jailed. 

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