A young man who kneed a father to the face as his partner took her boy from his Lavington house has admitted carrying out the attack.
James McWaters decided to plead guilty on Monday to assault occasioning actual bodily harm after police withdrew two other serious charges.
These were being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence and intimidation.
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Defence lawyer Dominic Holles told Albury Local Court magistrate Richard Funston that another, strictly indictable charge laid by police "was withdrawn some time ago".
McWaters, then 20, had gone to the Lyne Street house with his girlfriend while she retrieved the young child from his father, who did not agree to handing over the boy.
He will be sentenced over the assault on July 24, just days before his 22nd birthday.
The court was told that McWaters and his girlfriend went to her ex-partner's home on June 2, 2019.
She and the man had an ongoing custody dispute over the boy.
The woman had made the decision to take the boy against his father's wishes. The father lived at the house with his grandparents, who were in their 60s.
Police said the woman got into an argument with the victim's grandmother, then went inside the house and tried to grab the boy to take him away.
"(The woman) has begun screaming."
On hearing this, McWaters entered the house, grabbed the victim by his shirt "and proceeded to knee (the man) two to three times to the face, causing a split lip and minor grazing to (the victim's) chin".
As this happened, McWaters' girlfriend left the house with the boy.
Relatives of the victim then pushed McWaters outside. He got into his car and drove away.
Police said it was accepted that McWaters' actions were in defence of his girlfriend.
The pair went to Albury police station that day at 11.20am so he could hand himself in.
McWaters was arrested, then he admitted he had entered the house in Lyne Street.