Former Carlton footballer Adrian Whitehead faces sentence in October after failing to beat a charge he punched a woman in the face, knocking her to the ground.
Magistrate Rodney Brender delivered a lengthy judgement in Albury Local Court on Friday in which he was sharply critical of Whitehead’s version of events.
He was similarly scathing of evidence provided by four of the players he coached at the Holbrook Football Club in 2017. Each gave a different version of how the victim ended up on the ground and where exactly it all took place.
Mr Brender said these inconsistencies and the fact that each of them had drunk a considerable amount of alcohol on the night of the incident meant their testimony carried no weight.
Whitehead, who faces sentence on October 27, had tried to claim that the woman had charged him and tried to get in to the middle of a “push and shove” between he and her partner.
Mr Brender instead relied on an independent witness’s evidence of seeing the punch, then moments later identifying Whitehead as the man he earlier saw on a courtesy bus run by Albury pub Beer Deluxe
“I’m satisfied the defendant punched (the victim) in the face and caused the grievous bodily harm by causing the chip to the tooth.”
Whitehead, 43 later this month, contested the assault occasioning actual bodily harm charge in June.
The incident happened at Thurgoona, where Whitehead lives, on September 10 between 3.50am and 4.50am.
Police said the victim gave a statement against Whitehead later that day after arriving at Albury police station with bruising around her left eye “and a large chip in her left incisor tooth”.
Mr Brender said while he found the charge proved, it applied only to the chipped tooth as there was no evidence that proved the bruising was caused by Whitehead.
It might, he said, have been the result of an accident or some other incident at the time of the assault.
Mr Brender also dismissed the character testimony of Whitehead’s AFL premiership team-mate Peter Dean, who spoke of how he had never seen him treat women badly.
The magistrate said that might be the case, but Mr Dean’s comments did not take into account what Whitehead was like when he had drunk alcohol to excess.
Whitehead had his bail extended for sentence on October 27.
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