Friends fall out over battery: court

A DISPUTE between close friends over a car battery resulted in a physical altercation that left a man with a suspected broken collarbone, a court has heard.

James Coughlan, 42, fronted Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, pleading guilty to charges that arose after a fight in November last year.

The court heard that in September, Coughlan lent a car battery to one of his close friends.

Police prosecutor Acting Sergeant Ivan Blomeley said when the battery was returned to Coughlan, he suspected it was faulty.

“He noticed a discrepancy in the battery,” he said.

“He then attended the address (of the victim) in a rage, resulting in a verbal argument.”

The pair then wrestled, with the victim cracking his shoulder on the ground.

Coughlan also punched the victim in the face.

Preferring to speak himself than through his lawyer, Coughlan said he regretted the incident and wished to get back on good terms with his friends of 18 years.

“I wish it never happened and I’m going to try and stay out of trouble as much as I can,” he said.

Magistrate Michelle Hodsgon described it as a nasty incident.

“Clearly this got out of hand and someone suffered an injury as a result,” she said.

Coughlan was fined $900 with conviction.