A drunk man punched a Ballarat taxi driver after becoming enraged when he fell from the car into the gutter and accused the driver of moving the car to cause the fall.
Joel Brooks, 38, originally denied the assault in August 2019 but pleaded guilty on Friday at court after a magistrate indicated she would not send him to prison.
The Ballarat Magistrates' Court heard the taxi driver had picked Brooks and an unknown female up from Craig's Royal Hotel about 3.30pm and dropped him off at a Redan address.
Brooks refused to pay the taxi fare, accusing the driver of moving the car as he got out causing him to fall.
He went into the Redan house, but returned to the car in a rage.
It is a result of self-induced intoxicationSenior Constable Mitch Prewett, police prosecutor
He leant over the passenger seat, grabbed the driverby his jacket and punched him to the face.
Brooks was charged with assault and criminal damage for a separate incident in October 2019 when he spat in the face of a woman known to him and smashed her car windscreen.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Mitch Prewett said Brooks was drunk at the time of both assaults.
Defence barrister Richard Foley said Brooks had an alcohol problem in 2019 but was now over that and working hard to be allowed to see his children.
He said Brooks had worked his whole life and had not offended since.
Mr Foley asked Magistrate Letizia Torres to provide a sentencing indication and asked for his client to avoid a jail term.
Senior Constable Prewett said he agreed a community corrections order was an appropriate sentence if it emphasised rehabilitation and punishment, including unpaid community work.
"It is an assault of a male and assault against a female and criminal damage, as a result of self-induced intoxication," he said.
Magistrate Letizia Torres said it was 'nasty' and 'serious' offending, with two different victims, but jail was a sentence of last resort.
Brooks will be assessed for a community corrections order and will return to court in November for sentencing.
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