Corrections order for pizza shop driver assault

A FORMER employee punched a pizza delivery driver in the face during an incident in the car park of a Wendouree food outlet, a court has heard.

Robert Coon, 35, of Wendouree, received a 12-month community corrections order after pleading guilty in the Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday to the assault.

The court heard Coon had worked one shift as a delivery driver at Don Chichio’s Pizza in Howitt Street before he was fired.

But on August 27 last year, the ex-employee returned to the shop intoxicated.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Kent said the victim and another man were getting ready to deliver pizzas from their workplace at 9.30pm when Coon approached and provoked them to start fighting him.

He swung his fist at the victim and hit him in the right side of the face, causing swelling and bruising to the man’s right cheekbone.

Coon left the scene in a vehicle, but the incident was captured on a CCTV camera at the front of the store.

Defence lawyer Hamish Locke said his client had been so drunk he could not recall the assault and he harboured no ill feelings towards the business.

“It wasn’t a case of sour grapes or anything,” he said. “Mr Coon’s very remorseful of his conduct.”

Magistrate Gregory McNamara said he considered it a serious incident as the consequences of one punch to the face could be fatal.

“This sort of thing causes a lot of concern in the community and in the courts,” he said.

“The consequences can be severe. It’s only a matter of luck whether somebody gets a swollen cheek ... or falls to the ground and hits their head.”

Coon will be required to do 80 hours of community work over a six-month period and undergo treatment for alcohol abuse.