A magistrate has warned a man who punched a woman to the face at a birthday celebration he would spend more time in jail if he did not 'sort himself out'.
Joshua Higham, 24, pleaded guilty at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Monday to unlawful assault and criminal damage.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Repac told the court Higham was at a birthday celebration at a Mount Pleasant property on July 22, 2019 when he got into an argument and punched a woman to the face.
The court heard the pair fell to the ground and wrestled before they were separated by others at the house.
Senior Constable Repac said Higham then kicked the passenger door of a car parked outside the house twice before fleeing.
Police arrested Higham in August. When asked about the incident, Higham said he 'went too far', was intoxicated and was upset.
If he finds it horrifying in custody, perhaps that is a good thing.Magistrate Barry Schultz
The court heard Higham had admitted to throwing his beer at the car and kicking it twice, but he said he did not remember hitting the victim.
Higham was also charged with breaching a community corrections order.
A Ballarat defence lawyer said Higham was drunk and did not remember much about the incident. The lawyer said the assault took place in the context of a party where many disputes were going on.
The court heard Higham was in full time employment as an apprentice tiler.
"He has had two nights in the cells and he is alarmed," she said.
Magistrate Barry Schultz said he was not going to give Higham a 'crushing sentence' because he was young and was engaged in full-time work.
"If he finds it horrifying in custody, perhaps that is a good thing," he said.
"He is likely to spend more time in custody if he doesn't sort himself out... It is really up to you"
Higham was convicted and fined $500 for the charges of unlawful assault and criminal damage.
His previous community corrections order was cancelled and he was fined another $500.