A young man who kneed another man to the face in what a court has surmised was a misguided attempt to defend his girlfriend has escaped conviction.
James McWaters had gone into a Lavington house on hearing his partner screaming, after trying to retrieve her child from inside the home of the child's father.
He grabbed the victim by the shirt, Albury Local Court previously heard, and kneed him two to three times to the face, leaving him with a split lip and minor grazing to his chin.
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Magistrate Richard Funston told McWaters during his sentencing hearing that his personal references were "terrific" and he was "also mindful of your young age" and "the fact you've never been to court for an act of violence before".
"I am prepared to give you this one chance today," he told McWaters, 21, who pleaded guilty to a single charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
"You need to be careful that you just don't take the law into your hands."
Mr Funston further told McWaters that "this time you have obviously learnt from your behaviour".
Defence lawyer Dominic Holles said the offending was at the lower end of the scale of objective seriousness, though it was conceded that the multiple strikes "were probably more serious".
Mr Holles said the context of the assault was that McWaters was the relatively young age of 20 at the time and the circumstances of what took place that day.
The court previously there had been an ongoing custody dispute between the child's parents.
McWaters accompanied his girlfriend to the Lyne Street house so she could take the child, which the father opposed.
He was placed on a 12-month conditional release order.
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