Axedale man banned from Bendigo CBD for unprovoked attack

An Axedale man has been banned from the Bendigo CBD at night after an “unexplained, unprovoked, violent assault”. 

Scott Kristian Kneebone, 32, and his victim were standing at Bendigo’s Bridge Street taxi rank about 2.30am on December 4, 2011, when Kneebone launched his unprovoked attack.

He punched the victim twice to the face before the man fell backwards over a railing and hit his head on the base of a light pole, knocking him unconscious.

Kneebone pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday to one charge of recklessly causing injury.

Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Dave Somerton originally sought a charge of recklessly causing serious injury, arguing the combination of injures the victim suffered – a cut to his chin requiring stitches and unconsciousness – warranted the charge.

But Kneebone’s lawyer Reg Schleiger said the unconsciousness could have been caused by the victim’s level of intoxication.

He had a blood alcohol content of 0.29 at the time of the attack.

Ultimately Magistrate Bruce Cottrill decided the individual injuries themselves were not serious and therefore couldn’t be categorised as serious in combination.

But Mr Cottrill said the fact both the victim and Kneebone were drunk did not mitigate the assault.

“People who pour alcohol inside themselves then seek to use it as an excuse for their offending are seriously misguided,” he said.

Mr Schleiger said his client’s lifestyle had changed dramatically since the incident.

“He has two children under school age and is engaged to be married,” he said.

“He regrets this accident happened and he gives the court an assurance it will never happen again.”

Leading Senior Constable Somerton said Kneebone had a history of alcohol-related offences and resisting police.

He said it was important the court sent a strong message on drunken assaults. 

But Mr Cottrill said he was satisfied Kneebone was unlikely to reoffend.

He imposed a $3000 fine with conviction. Kneebone was also barred from the Bendigo CBD between 10pm and 4am from Thursday to Sunday.

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