Wodonga man Scott Andrew Merrick became enraged when his girlfriend's neighbour, armed with a baseball bat, began filming him on a mobile phone.
Merrick punched the man in the head, he smashed the man's phone to the ground and, for good measure, headbutted him.
"What are you doing this for?" the North Street, Albury, neighbour asked Merrick.
The neighbour had also once been married, for six years, to Merrick's girlfriend.
"It's a pretty violent sort of an attack with a neighbour," magistrate Rodney Brender said while sentencing Merrick in Albury Local Court.
"He's punched him in the head in a completely unprovoked manner and then he got involved in more violence."
Defence solicitor Angus Lingham said Merrick, who pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and destroy or damage property, conceded "that he should not have got involved in this argument. He knows he should have walked away."
The court was told the victim and his ex-wife, Merrick's girlfriend, separated about three months before the incident on October 13.
But they continued to live next door to each other, with the victim erecting a fence adjacent to the woman's carport so he could run his painting and decorating business.
It's a pretty violent sort of an attack with a neighbour. He's punched him in the head in a completely unprovoked manner and then he got involved in more violenceAlbury magistrate Rodney Brender
After the victim went to Queensland, Merrick and his girlfriend removed palings from the fence so their dog could use the lawn. On his return, the victim clashed with Merrick.
It was after Merrick saw the victim filming him that he grabbed the phone and threw it to the ground with enough force to smash the screen.
He then punched him to the head, the victim retaliating by slugging Merrick with his baseball bat. Merrick then headbutted the man and grabbed him so tight around the throat he could barely breathe.
Merrick was convicted and put on a 12-month community corrections order to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work. He was fined $1000 over the damaged phone.
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