Robert Beames escapes prison sentence

Robert Beames has been ordered to undertake 250 hours of community service and pay more than $1000 for punching a council worker.

He pleaded guilty to punching the worker at the RSPCA animal shelter at Alfredton and separate drink driving charges in March.

Police caught him drink driving an unregistered car, without an interlock breath testing device, which was a condition of his licence at the time. Beames appeared in the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on Tuesday, after completing five months of drug rehabilitation.

He was also suspended from driving for 20 months, backdated to September 30 last year, and placed on a two year community corrections order.

Magistrate Gregory Robinson said Beames would be sent to jail if he reoffended.

“I feel a bit uneasy to not sentence you to a term of imprisonment,” he said.

“If I arrived at work and was attacked by someone, as you attacked the victim at the pound, I would be uneasy.

“If it (the community corrections order) is breached, particularly with violent offending, I’ll have no hesitation sending you to jail.”

The court heard in March how Beames arrived at the Alfredton RSPCA shelter before it had opened in October last year.

He was rambling to council staff who had turned up to work, about having to pay to collect his dog, which had been held there for several days.

Beames tried to gain entry to the office as the staff went inside, and then lunged at the council worker when he was told to wait outside until they were open.

He then punched the staff member in the back of the head as he fell to the floor.

The victim was later taken to hospital with a dislocated shoulder. Beames was later arrested, but not before he attempted to slam his door on police, the court heard.

Magistrate Robinson said the community service order had to punitive because of the serious nature of the incident.

“The victim will always have with him that unpleasant, unfortunate experience you have caused to another human being,” he said.

“Putting that aside… I accept that you know what you were doing was wrong.”

He also said Beames had so far shown commitment to completing the drug rehabilitation course.

Beames' legal representative told the court in March things were difficult for her client at the time.

The lawyer said the two-year anniversary of the disappearance of Beames' brother played a role in the escalation of his drinking.

But she said while alcohol was still a problem, her client had taken steps to address the issue including enrolling in a drug-rehabilitation program.