News

Life ban for attack saves man $3000

by
April 22, 2017

Matthew Calvert, 34, was playing in the C-grade competition at Echuca Basketball Stadium when he attacked the referee on November 21 last year.

AN ECHUCA basketballer assaulted a referee after a decision went against his team.

Matthew Calvert, 34, was playing in the C-grade competition at Echuca Basketball Stadium when he attacked the referee on November 21 last year.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Karl Mannes told Echuca Magistrates Court on Tuesday Calvert confronted the referee after a foul was called against his team-mate.

‘‘He grabbed the referee by the front of his shirt, pulled his whistle cord tight and assaulted him with his hands and elbows,’’ Snr Const. Mannes said.

‘‘The victim sustained grazes to the side of his nose and wrist, as well as marks on his neck.’’

The referee was able to continue officiating the match after Calvert was escorted from the stadium.

The court heard he has since been slapped with a life ban from the sport.

When interviewed by police in January, Calvert said his mother had died the day before the incident and he ‘‘wasn’t in a good frame of mind’’.

His defence lawyer said the referee’s injuries were minor and Calvert was remorseful for his actions.

‘‘It was a fiery game and tempers had been flaring,’’ he said.

‘‘It wasn’t his finest hour — he accepts that.’’

Magistrate John Murphy said Calvert had gone ‘‘way over the top’’ with his actions.

Mr Murphy told Calvert if it was not for the life ban already imposed, he would have fined him $3000.

Instead he placed Calvert on a six-month good behaviour bond, without conviction, and ordered him to donate $500 to Echuca Regional Health.

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