Man fined for punch behind hotel bar

A BALLARAT birthday bash ended in an alcohol-fuelled bashing, a court has heard. 

Steven Smith, 30, from Ballarat, pleaded guilty in the Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday to one charge of recklessly causing injury. 

On July 29 last year, Smith attended a friend’s 30th birthday party at the Golden City Hotel in Ballarat. 

The incident occurred about 7pm when Smith started speaking aggressively to bar staff. 

Bar staff said Smith was intimidating and quite intoxicated at the time of the incident. 

After being offered water by one of the bar staff, Smith became agitated, walked behind the bar and punched the victim in the left side of the face. 

Smith was removed from the bar by guests of the party. 

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Pepe Brown said the victim had lacerations to the face and blurred vision. 

The victim was later treated at Ballarat Base Hospital.

 Smith was arrested the next day and made full admissions about the incident.

Defence lawyer Kylie Maloney said her client could not recall much about the incident because of his intoxicated state. 

“He understands that it was a massive mistake,” Ms Moloney said. 

“He does not recall being aggressive but agrees he was not sober at the time.” 

Ms Moloney said her client only had a couple of drinks before attending to the party. 

In 2004, Smith was convicted of intentionally causing serious injury.

Ms Moloney said her client was only assisting a friend when he became involved in an altercation in 2004. 

“A group of people were in a fight and he was trying to help out,” she said. 

Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said Smith’s behaviour was not acceptable. 

“It’s absolutely appalling,” Mr Kelstadt said. “You were spoken to by friends who were trying to help, but to no avail.” 

Smith was convicted and fined $4500.