A Beaufort man who repeatedly punched another man at a local bar has faced court.
Aaron William Montgomery, 42, pleaded guilty at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Thursday to assault.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Ben Jones told the court Montgomery was drinking at the bar of the Golden Age Hotel in Beaufort around 6pm on March 2 when he followed the victim and another man out of the hotel.
Unprovoked, he punched the victim several times to the face, jaw and forehead.
The court heard the victim did not retaliate and went back inside the hotel to move away from Montgomery.
It is reported Montgomery said 'I have waited a long time for this', before punching the victim in the nose.
Senior Constable Jones said Montgomery then headbutted the victim in the nose.
When arrested he told police the victim was a 'thieving rat, if I didn't assault him who would?'.
However legitimate your grievance was with this man you diminish yourself more than him by using violence to express it.Magistrate Ron Saines
Montgomery's defence counsel told the court he was of good character, ran a construction company that employed more than 30 people and had no history of violence.
The court heard there was 'escalating tension' between Montgomery's family and the victim's family after an incident years before.
"He is embarrassed he was behaving the way he was and is remorseful for it and made full admissions to the police," the lawyer said.
Magistrate Ron Saines said Montgomery's behaviour was 'wholly inappropriate'.
"However legitimate your grievance was with this man you diminish yourself more than him by using violence to express it," he said.
"The response of the justice system is to treat this as an unprovoked, repeated act of violence.
"You would have been a candidate for imprisonment had you not pleaded guilty and brought good character before the court."
Montgomery was convicted and fined $1500 and ordered to pay $84.40 in court costs.
"I sentence you as someone who has made poor choices on this occasion but otherwise does plenty for your family and community," Mr Saines said.
"You now have a conviction for violence and that should act as a message of deterrence to you. You cannot use violence in matters of differences in community."
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