'Too lenient': AFL star Scotland appeal

CARLTON footballer Heath Scotland will return to court in Albury next year for an appeal against the leniency of his penalty for an assault.

The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions is appealing after Scotland did not receive a conviction for an unprovoked king-hit at a Mulwala club earlier this year.

Scotland, 32, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He appeared in Albury Local Court in early October and walked free with a two-year-bond after his legal representatives argued against a conviction over an assault which left another Melbourne man unconscious.

Magistrate Tony Murray was told Scotland had ambitions of becoming a firefighter after his football career.

It later came to light Scotland faced a 10-year ban from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade following his guilty plea.

It was also later revealed that Scotland’s high-profile Melbourne lawyer Bernie Balmer had rolled out the fireman argument once before when the midfielder had appeared in a Melbourne court over assault.

In 2006, Scotland also avoided a conviction, with the magistrate taking into account his career ambitions when he was charged over striking a woman at a nightclub in May 2005.

Police sought to appeal the penalty and referred the matter to the DPP, with a decision made last week by deputy director Keith Alder to lodge an appeal.

The paperwork has been sent to the court in Albury but by late yesterday Scotland’s lawyers, Balmer and Associates in Melbourne, had not been notified.

The case is expected to be heard by a judge in the District Court at Albury in February.

Three others were charged over two violent confrontations at the Mulwala Water Ski Club.

Scotland’s brother, windscreen-fitter Brett Scotland, his victim, Melbourne tradesman Mark Richard Vickers-Foote, and another Melbourne man Kyle Brooks were convicted and fined $600 over a charge of using violence to cause fear.

Mr Murray said normally the assault charge faced by Scotland would also have warranted a conviction.

But he said there were extenuating circumstances with a conviction preventing Scotland from taking up his aspirations of being a fireman.