A man who punched his friend in a drunken rage told police he did not know 'what one punch could do'.
Ian Graham said he regrets the incident that destroyed one of his only strong friendships and led to his return to court.
The 57-year-old pleaded guilty at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Tuesday to one charge of intentionally causing injury.
Crown prosecutor Fraser Cameron said Graham was visiting a friend in Ballarat to celebrate his birthday in September 2019.
The court heard the pair drank at the friend's house in the afternoon before continuing drinking at the Ballarat Leagues Club where they consumed five to 10 pots.
The pair began arguing about a missing mobile and continued arguing outside before getting into a physical scuffle.
Graham punched his friend to the face once with a closed fist, causing the victim to fall to the ground in an unconscious state.
Mr Cameron said Graham walked away, did not help his friend and was later arrested by police.
The victim suffered a fractured nose, concussion and swelling to his jaw and face.
Graham made full admissions to police and said he was extremely remorseful and did not know what one punch could do.
The court heard the victim had trouble sleeping, suffered dizzy spells and struggled to leave the house after the incident.
Defence lawyer Simon O'Halloran said it was supposed to be a night of celebration but regrettably took an unexpected turn, as often was the case with alcohol.
"He regrets that and understands it could have been much worse," he said.
"He is sad to have lost a significant friendship."
The court heard Graham has a criminal history and has served an eight year term of imprisonment in the past.
Mr O'Halloran said Graham had remained abstinent from alcohol since the incident.
Mr Cameron submitted a combination sentence of a term of imprisonment and a community corrections order was appropriate.
Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg ordered Graham be assessed for a community corrections order.
"Anger management seems to have been an issue looking through his history," he said.
Graham will remain on bail until he returns to court for sentencing on June 16.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.