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Scotland avoids brawl conviction

Date

Scott Spits

Carlton footballer Heath Scotland (centre) leaves Albury Court yesterday.

Carlton footballer Heath Scotland (centre) leaves Albury Court yesterday. Photo: Tara Ashworth/Border Mail

CARLTON'S 2012 best-and-fairest winner Heath Scotland was last night waiting to see what penalty Carlton would impose on him after he pleaded guilty to an assault charge but escaped without conviction.

Scotland, 32, pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court yesterday to one count of assault causing actual bodily harm arising from a brawl at the Mulwala Ski Club in Yarrawonga in late January. Another charge of common assault was withdrawn.

The court heard Scotland aims to join the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board as a firefighter after his football career. If he received a conviction, he would have been prevented from joining the MFB for 10 years.

Magistrate Tony Murray said this played a role in his deciding not to convict Scotland.

The experienced AFL player also escaped a fine, instead receiving a two-year good behaviour bond.

A conviction would also have had implications for Scotland attending the club's pre-season training trip to Arizona.

The charges arose from the brawl in which Scotland punched a man at the Mulwala club on the Victoria-New South Wales border on January 29, knocking him unconscious. The incident was captured on CCTV.

The victim, Melbourne tradesman Mark Richard Vickers-Foote, and another Melbourne man, Kyle Brooks, had been involved in a scuffle with Brett Scotland, Heath's brother, before the punch was thrown.

The court was also told by Scotland's lawyer that Carlton was likely to fine and suspend the player for two or three matches.

Andrew McKay, Carlton's general manager of football operations, yesterday said the Blues had not been in a position to comment or consider penalties until after the hearing.

“The club was disappointed in Heath not adhering to the behaviours that all players of the Carlton Football Club are expected to maintain and thus putting himself in a potentially vulnerable position," McKay said.

“Following today's court hearing we are now in a position to determine an appropriate penalty.”

McKay said Carlton would discuss a possible penalty with the AFL and AFLPA.

With BORDER MAIL

 

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