A MURRAY Magpies footballer who broke another player’s jaw during a game has been convicted and fined by a magistrate.
Josh Maher was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm following his side’s clash against Holbrook in the Hume League on April 21.
The victim, Holbrook player Nick Pugh, was injured and reported the matter to police after the game.
Albury Local Court on Monday heard Pugh had collided with Maher from behind towards the end of the game, hitting the Magpies player in the back of the head.
Police said the impact, which knocked Maher to the ground, could have been accidental and in the spirit of the game.
But Maher believed he had intentionally been struck by Pugh.
Police said the victim was near the boundary line at the Holbrook Sports Ground when he noticed Maher running towards him.
He was punched in the face with a clenched right fist and had his jumper grabbed before other players intervened and separated the pair.
The 33-year-old was immediately sent off and was handed a five-game ban at the tribunal the following week.
The suspension was one of the heaviest penalties handed down by the league in recent times.
Pugh eventually made a full recovery from the fracture he received in the incident.
He made a complaint to police and provided a statement about what occurred and medical records to officers.
Maher went to the Albury station on June 14 after learning police wanted to speak to him.
He was cautioned and asked if he wanted to be interviewed about the incident.
“The accused advised that he had sought legal advice and as a result of this advice, he did not wish to be interviewed,” police noted.
“The assault has taken place with recklessness, outside of the competition and sporting contest they had been involved in.
“As such the accused has been charged with the matter now before the court.”
Maher had been charged with two offences but a count of common assault was withdrawn.
He pleaded guilty to the other assault charge.
Magistrate Rodney Brender convicted and fined Maher $500.