Originally written by Portland Observer
MAGISTRATE Jonathan Klestadt has scolded Heywood Football Club’s 2011 best and fairest winner for his drunken and violent behaviour, saying it was nothing more than indicative of the culture of Portland.
The magistrate went on to say that the culture of excessive drinking and subsequent violence was a shocking reflection on Portland.
“I’ve been somewhat dismayed by the violence that seems to be part of the scene here in Portland,”
“If you’re going to drink alcohol and you don’t remember what goes on — and your behaviour is so bad you’re asked to leave a licensed venue — I wouldn’t want you to be a role model for my son at a football club, a surf club or any club for that matter,” Mr Klestadt said.
In Portland Magistrates’ Court on Monday, Benjamin Millard, 24, of Fawthrop St, Portland pleaded guilty to unlawful assault and failing to leave a licensed venue, after an incident at the Richmond Henty Hotel earlier this year.
On July 31 at 1.50am several hours after a football match in Millicent, Millard was asked to leave the Richmond Henty hotel due to his high level of intoxication.
Millard was asking why he was being asked to leave when security staff took him by his left arm and escorted him downstairs.
With his right arm free, Millard struck a security guard three times with a closed fist, breaking the guard’s phone in the process.
Defence counsel Pat Howman reminded Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt his client had no previous convictions and was a highly-regarded member of the community, working fulltime at Keppel Prince and being named this year’s best and fairest for Heywood Football Club.
Mr Klestadt said the awarding of Millard as best and fairest only highlighted how poor his competition must have been.
“Being best and fairest doesn’t seem to be much of a recommendation given the general behaviour around here.”
Mr Klestadt said in his two-and-a-half years as magistrate in Portland, he had tried to impose strict sentences against violence in this town to try and curb people’s behaviour, “You obviously hadn’t heard about that,” he told Millard.
Millard was charged without conviction for assault and fined $750 and ordered to pay $199 in damages for the security guard’s phone – he was convicted and fined $250 for failing to leave a licensed venue.