A magistrate has lashed the "level of entitlement" of a man who assaulted his ex-partner at a petrol station.
The 38-year-old man, who can not be named as it would identify the victim who is his former partner, pleaded guilty to unlawful assault in the Ballarat Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Helen Farmer said on May 19 this year, the man was drinking beer and wine with friends and his then-partner at an Alfredton home. The 38-year-old asked the women to give him her mobile phone so he could check her messages, and then refused to return it.
After retrieving her phone, the female victim left at 9.30pm and went to a service station, because she was "not feeling safe", according to Senior Constable Farmer. The man followed her and again took her phone.
CCTV showed the man preventing the woman from escaping the petrol station by blocking her path, according to the police prosecutor, and "pushing her into the front glass ... using more force and manhandling (the victim) by grabbing by both arms".
A station attendant called 000, but feared for his safety and retreated to a back office to watch the assault occur on CCTV. Police arrived at the scene at 10.09pm and saw the guilty man intimidating the victim. Senior Constable Farmer said when arrested, the man "smelt of liquor" and was uncooperative, giving a no comment interview.
Defence lawyer Smith said his client was in the process of undertaking a men's behavioural change program and doesn't have a "pattern of that kind of behaviour", but drank problematically due to financial stress.
Magistrate Jennifer Tregent said she rejected the view that family violence could be explained away due to a drinking problem.
"There's a level of entitlement to go through a phone, go through their emails and follow them," she said.
The insecurity of men in relationships with women is just mind-blowing.
Magistrate Tregent imposed a community corrections order with conviction and 100 hours of unpaid community work to deter the man from future offending.
The Ballarat man also pleaded guilty for possessing a controlled weapon without an excuse, for a small mental knife which he had with him during the assault. His defence lawyer told the court it was a "specific tool used for the business he's in".
She noted the importance of men's behavioural change programs, saying "the more educated men are in the community, the more likely they are to feel confident to call out other men's behavior in society".
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