A RIVERINA man has been spared jail after he stepped in to help his brother involved a late-night brawl outside a club.
Patrick Lewis Sweeney, 25, of Junee, appeared in Wagga Local Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to common assault and threatening violence to cause fear.
Court documents state that just after midnight on December 15 last year, a melee broke out near the entrance of the Junee Ex-Services Memorial Club.
Sweeney, who was not involved in the initial stages of the brawl, got involved only after seeing a heated confrontation between his brother and another man.
Sweeney was holding a glass bottle when he approached the incident and pushed the victim away.
The glass bottle flew past the victim and smashed on the ground.
A minute later, Sweeney used his left hand to strike the victim in the face.
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In court on Tuesday, defence solicitor Zac Tankard argued for leniency based on his client's early guilty plea, lack of violence and limited role in the brawl.
"As far as I understand, his involvement lasted for about 20 seconds," Mr Tankard said.
"This is a matter that is now older. Months have now gone by and there have been no further offences by Mr Sweeney.
Mr Tankard also said that remorse has been shown and that he was unlikely to reoffend as shown in the reference letters tendered to the court.
"He is normally a level-headed guy as seen by the reference materials," he said.
In his remarks, magistrate Christopher Halburd said he acknowledged the arguments by Mr Tankard.
"This sort of behaviour does seem to be very much out of character for you," Mr Halburd said.
"Not just because there's nothing in your record, but because of the references."
However, Mr Halburd said the offences were "deserving of convictions".
"It's not just one push or one punch - it's a push followed by a punch," he said.
"It's not put to me that I ought not to record a conviction. In my view that simply wouldn't be appropriate."
Sweeney was sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order without supervision.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Priscilla Jones chose not to be heard.
Five others are still before the courts for their alleged roles in the incident.