By Jessica Howard
A 22-year-old is facing jail time after a one punch attack that left a father-of-two unconscious.
Craig Jones allegedly punched the victim in the head while in the presence of the man’s wife and two children, aged five and 12.
The incident occurred at a Bacchus Marsh hotel at around 8pm on February 1 this year.
Jones appeared in the Bacchus Marsh Magistrates Court on Friday (July 14) charged with intentionally cause injury.
The court heard the victim and his family were having dinner at the Bacchus Marsh venue, and were seated within about ten-metres of the accused and his ten male friends.
The group of men were allegedly using inappropriate language, resulting in the victim’s wife approaching the group and asking them to be wary of the young children nearby.
Jones allegedly responded to the woman by swearing and stating, “I can say whatever I f***ing want in front of your kids”.
The victim then approached Jones, who hit the man in the head, forcing him to land on the ground and fall unconscious for some time.
Jones proceeded to step over the victim and leave the venue. The man was taken to Sunshine Hospital with a sore head and neck.
CCTV footage obtained by police the following day revealed the identity of Jones, who attended the Bacchus Marsh Police Station on February 12.
Jones made full admissions to police, stating that when approached by the victim, he felt threatened and acted in self-defence.
Jones’ defence lawyer asked Magistrate Gregory Robinson for a sentencing indication, submitting that his client should receive an adjourned undertaking with conditions including anger management.
However, Magistrate Robinson rejected the submission, stating that if Jones were to plead guilty, he would be imprisoned for one month.
“There is no justification for that type of behaviour in any way,” he said.
“A man who was accompanied by his wife and kids made [the accused], who stood with ten of his mates, feel threatened? Absolutely not.
“That is violent thuggery and other young men need to know that this behaviour is not okay. The victim could have died, and right in front of his wife and kids”.
Following the sentencing indication, Jones will plead not guilty to the charge, with a contest mention to be heard in Ballarat with a date to be set in the near future.