A Spirit of Tasmania stowaway was arrested on board the ship after he assaulted his girlfriend for cheating with another man mid-cruise in 2012.
Jessey Dodd pleaded guilty to obtaining financial advantage by deceit and one count of assault in the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning.
His conviction was adjourned for 12 months, when it will be reviewed if he does not reoffend.
Dodd was also ordered to pay $400 to the Domestic Violence Research Centre.
The 41-year-old hid under blankets and pillows in the back of his girlfriend’s car in order to get on board the ship without a ticket.
Once the Spirit of Tasmania was at sea his girlfriend unlocked the car and the pair went onto the deck.
They joined a second woman before they befriended another man on board the ship.
The following morning of the Tasman Sea crossing Dodd walked in on his partner “in the middle of a sex act” with the other man, according to a police prosecutor.
“He punched her to the left side of her face,” the prosecutor said.
“Security intervened, the accused’s girlfriend said she had been assaulted and the accused did not have a ticket.”
Dodd, who made full admissions about the incident when questioned, told police he had not paid for a ticket because he wanted to provide for the two woman he was travelling with.
He was also drunk at the time of the incident.
Dodd’s defence counsel said her client did not have any other violent or domestic assault convictions against his name.
“He has a dated criminal history from his teenage years,” she said.
“The last time he was in court was in 1997.”
The solicitor said Dodd’s had been fully compliant with police investigation into the incident.
“Five months ago he moved back to Ballarat because his father received a message there was a warrant out for his arrest,” she said.
“He came back to deal with it – I submit it was not in his character to behave like that – there is nothing in his history of violence.”
During sentencing Magistrate Theresa McCarthy said the assault charge had to be taken very seriously no matter the situation.
”The most serious offence relates to physical assault,” she said.
“I have no regard for the circumstances involved.”