A winery tour with colleagues that became a drunken and aggressive "day from hell" for a Victorian policeman has had a sobering conclusion in a Melbourne courtroom.
A magistrate who heard how drunk Jonathan Moss had got described the former senior constable as "blotto" and "as full as a state school".
The magistrate Tim Walsh was told that Moss started drinking chardonnay and shiraz at 9am on September 11 last year, and more than eight hours later returned to a suburban police station.
Prosecutor Temple Saville said that Moss later assaulted an acting sergeant in a car after the colleague agreed to drive him home.
Ms Saville told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday that Moss, then performing temporary duties with the Brimbank crime investigation unit and a member for four years, insulted, threatened and injured acting Sergeant Matthew Moohan.
Moss, 34, who pleaded guilty to a charge of recklessly causing injury, ended his career with Victoria Police on Thursday.
His barrister Geoffrey Steward described Moss, who was supported in court by his parents, friends and a police inspector, as an "outstanding character" who deserved a chance to avoid a conviction.
Mr Steward said his client was described by the inspector in a reference as the best of 140 other members in his group and by other people as decent, polite, reliable, kind and friendly.
In football parlance, Mr Steward said, Moss "could have been anything", but that drinking chardonnay and shiraz from 9 o'clock in the morning "wasn't a particularly good idea".
In her summary, Ms Saville said the bus tour of the Gisborne-Macedon area included a visit to Hanging Rock Winery, the Mount Macedon Hotel for lunch and the Gisborne Peak Winery for "tastings and food platters".
She said Moss drank alcohol throughout the day and had behaved in an "otherwise quiet and reserved manner", but after arriving back at the Sunshine Police complex he was intoxicated, and the only CIU member not to have arranged transport home.
In the car with acting Sergeant Moohan, who was in full uniform, Moss refused to provide his address and asked to be let out at licensed venues, but his driver refused out of concern for his safety and welfare, she said.
Moss became began insulting and threatening his colleague, who rang the complex but was unable to learn Moss's address.
Eventually, Moss pointed out his address, but when acting Sergeant Moohan asked for Moss's wife's phone number Moss said: "Just f---ing let me out," and elbowed the window.
When acting Sergeant Moohan called Moss's wife, Moss snatched the phone and yelled: "This f---ing psycho won't let me go. Call the police."
Ms Saville said Moss then punched acting Sergeant Moohan to the forehead and hit him several times with glancing blows which caused his nose to bleed.
When Moss's wife arrived to help her husband from the car, Moss resumed assaulting his colleague, yelling, punching and kneeing him.
Moss's wife got between both men and led Moss into their house.
In his victim impact statement acting Sergeant Moohan said his injuries were "nothing" but the emotional injuries "are still there".
Mr Steward, who accepted the incident would have been "very upsetting" for the victim, told Mr Walsh that while "being blotto" was no justification for any conduct, it could offer an explanation.
He said aggression in Moss's life had been "completely unheard of" until this incident, but his wife had since issued him an ultimatum about any repeat conduct while his client had not sought to offer any defence to the charge.
Mr Walsh told Moss that the consequences of the incident "almost brought a tear to me eye" as it was "almost a tragedy" that such a prospective stellar career as a police officer had been ended.
"It saddens me this ended up such as it has," he said after earlier describing the incident as "one day from hell ... one blot on [Moss's] life".
He found there was no "purpose" served in convicting Moss, who he fined $500.