MURRAY Magpies co-coach Brad Thompson has apologised to a man after punching him through a car window and kicking him in an incident that sprayed blood into the vehicle.
The Wodonga Magistrates Court on Thursday heard the 41-year-old is “on the edge of the cliff” of going to jail for the December 10 attack.
The victim – who sat quietly in court during the proceedings – was dating Thompson’s ex-partner and mother of his children.
The victim had gone to her house on her invitation and knocked on her door, then her windows, to wake her.
Thompson’s children called him after hearing the noise and he drove over to the Wodonga property, despite his ex-partner assuring him everything was fine.
Thompson and the victim crossed paths while driving and both stopped.
Before the victim could say anything, a shirtless Thompson punched him multiple times in the head through the car window and threatened to kill him.
He kicked him in the head and took off with his phone after damaging his car.
The phone was dumped into the Murray River and the victim required surgery.
Lawyer Peter Morrisey made lengthy submissions in a bid for his client to avoid jail on charges including intentionally causing injury.
“It’s not good to put this man into prison,” he said.
“He’s otherwise a good person.”
Mr Morrisey said Thompson thought he was protecting his children.
Magistrate Fran Medina said it should be made clear the victim had done nothing wrong and was not at fault.
Thompson spoke directly to the man, who he called “mate”, while giving evidence.
He had earlier apologised to him after being approached in the court house.
“I’d like to extend that apology again mate,” Thompson said.
“I just wish things were so different … I’m really sorry I put you through this.”
Thompson admitted “the way I handled things that night was stupid”.
He received a four-month suspended jail term in 2004 for recklessly causing serious injury, but the court heard he wasn’t usually a violent man.
The matter will return to Wangaratta court on July 30.
Perfect storm ahead of assault: Lawyer
Thompson’s violent attack on an innocent man occurred amidst an “atmosphere of concern” for his family, the Wodonga Magistrates Court has heard.
The 41-year-old’s lawyer on Thursday argued he should be placed on a corrections order.
Peter Morrisey argued a number of stresses and pressures in Thompson’s life, including family issues, led to the assault, and argued against jail.
Mr Morrisey said Thompson had grown up in a troubled home and saw himself as a protector of his family, which later extended towards his daughters.
“It’s a one-off,” Mr Morrisey said.
But Magistrate Fran Medina said the difficulty she was having in considering a sentence was the gravity of the offending.