Ballarat security guard Marc Rowland pleads guilty to bashing club patron

A magistrate has slammed a Ballarat security guard for bashing a punter after he was ejected from a Mair Street nightclub.

Marc Rowland had just started his shift at The Faux Social Club when he attacked the drunk patron outside the venue on the night of December 4, 2016.

Rowland’s ‘vicious assault’ broke the victim’s nose and eye socket and caused bleeding, swelling, bruising and an eye laceration.

The Ballarat Magistrates Court was told CCTV footage showed Rowland pushed the man, causing him to fall back and hit his head on the footpath. 

After almost two minutes lying down, the man stood up but Rowland pinned him to the ground where he was seen swinging his arm three times towards his head.

Rowland then got off the victim and washed his hands, the court was told.

Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt slammed Rowland’s behaviour after he pleaded guilty to the bashing while his wife sat beside him.

“As a licenced security guard you are expected to be trained and mentally conditioned to deal with this sort of behaviour without reasoning to excessive violence,” Mr Klestadt said.

“The view I form of your conduct was that the victim was indeed a drunken pest but your conduct went outside and far beyond the role you have of protecting the patrons of your employer and your employer’s property.”

Rowland was initially contesting the offences, telling the court he was defending himself because the victim stepped towards him with raised arms.

Defence lawyer David Tamanika said his client was an experienced security guard who was responding to a drunk patron making a nuisance of himself.

He said the victim threatened to kill Rowland, made gun gestures with his hands and said he was a member of the Rebels Motorcycle Club.

But Mr Klestadt said his behaviour was a gross over-reaction which led to the vicious assault. He urged Rowland to seek mental health help.

“I would suggest to you that you consider whether you should seek some assistance in terms of your mental health because this type of behaviour can often be a sign of deeper problems, issues, concerns,” he said.

“This sort of acting out is often a result of underlying and untreated mental health.”

Rowland was convicted and fined $2500. If he did not plead guilty to the offences he would have been sentenced to jail, Mr Klestadt said.

He had one prior offence. Rowland’s security officer licence has been suspended.