Fines for pair in Lake Eppalock 'kicking'

A TEENAGER who kicked a man to the head during a fight at Lake Eppalock has been convicted and fined $2000.

The Bendigo Magistrates' Court heard Wyatt Rhodes, 19, from Rockbank, in Melbourne's west, would have gone to jail for the attack if it were not for his guilty plea. 

Rhodes and co-accused John Vella, 52, of Rockbank, were involved in a dispute with a 46-year-old man at the lake on December 29, 2012.

VIDEO: John Vella leaves Bendigo Magistrates Court.

Prosecuting Leading Senior Constable Tony Graham said the argument happened after Vella repeatedly drove his car through a path where children were playing.

The court heard Rhodes and Vella wrestled the victim when he complained about the driving before Rhodes kicked the victim in the head when he was on the ground.

Senior Constable Graham said the 46-year-old victim's nose was displaced and he suffered lacerations, bruising, head trauma and soft tissue injury.

The court heard the dispute was close to turning into a brawl when Vella verbally abused other bystanders, asking "does anyone else want to fight?".

Senior Constable Graham said a number of children had been scared after witnessing the attack. He said the victim was left dazed and covered in blood, and suffered long-lasting health effects. 

Rhodes' defence counsel Tim Schocker said his client claimed he was trying to break up the fight.

Mr Schocker argued for a non-conviction for Rhodes and said he was a young man who had a good chance of rehabilitation.

Rhodes entered a guilty plea on Tuesday to recklessly causing injury and affray.

Magistrate John Doherty said it was serious offending.

"If he went to trial and lost he'd go to prison," he said.

"This has had a dramatic effect on the victim. But for a guilty plea it would have been jail."

Co-accused Vella appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon and entered a guilty plea to affray and recklessly causing injury.

He was fined $1250 without conviction.

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