A Bridgewater man who assaulted his former partner, then turned on his father when he tried to protect the woman, breaking the older man’s nose, has been placed on a community corrections order.
John Scholes, 35, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to a number of assault-related charges.
The court heard Scholes’ ex-partner had taken an intervention order out against him at the start of last year.
Prosecuting, Acting Sergeant Lindsay Riley said Scholes broke the order once in June and then again in September when an argument started between the pair over the care of their two young children.
Acting Sergeant Riley said Scholes “rugby tackled” the woman to the ground and then pinned her to a fence.
He said Scholes’ father tried to intervene and hit his son who then “lost all control”.
The court heard Scholes punched his father several times to the face, knocking him to the ground each time.
“He was trying to get the accused away from the woman,” Acting Sergeant Riley said of Scholes’ father.
“He yelled at her to run away.”
Acting Sergeant Riley said police later found Scholes at the Bridgewater Hotel, but he ran away and wrestled with officers before he was subdued with capsicum spray.
Scholes’ defence lawyer Alex McLennan said the incidents had occurred because of a “combination of pressures”.
Mr McLennan said his client had a very limited criminal history and was “not in the habit of acting out in this way”.
Magistrate William Gibb said Scholes’ behaviour was “a complete and utter total disgrace”.
Portions of the father’s lengthy victim impact statement were read to the court.
“He attempted to intervene because his son was assaulting his defacto. His son then responds by bloodying his face and sending him to hospital with a broken nose,” Mr Gibb said.
“To say he would be hurt emotionally and physically by this is an understatement.
“The impact on the father has been profound. He has lost so much.”
Mr Gibb also slammed Scholes’ behaviour in front of his children, aged two and three.
“These children will never reach their full potential if you keep behaving in this way,” he said.
“If you don’t care for yourself that’s one thing but at least care for tender children, their mum had to pack them up in the car and flee.”
Mr Gibbs said he was conflicted about whether or not to send Scholes to jail.
“Should I stand up on behalf of the community and do what is expected and jail him?” he said.
“If I jail him he loses his job and won’t get to see his children.”
Mr Gibbs said he would place Scholes on a 12-month CCO, with 150 hours of community work, on account of his guilty plea and lack of criminal history.
“If you don’t do these hours you will be breached and the hours will be in custody,” he said.