AN Orange man fled the scene of the crime and hid after he punched a man, in full view of police, at the taxi rank after a night out.
The assault on June 29, around 3am, cost Jacob Lewis $3500 and he received a permanent criminal record.
Lewis, 23, ran away from the cab rank in Lords Place after the victim fell to the ground.
Police chased Lewis on foot as he cut across Robertson Park.
The officers then got back in their car and watched Lewis hide, then come back to the taxi rank and attempt to escape in a cab, but he was stopped by Royal Hotel security.
In Orange Local Court on Thursday his solicitor Mason Manwaring said everyone involved in the altercation had drank too much, including the victim and two witnesses who were so drunk they could not be interviewed by police.
“The victim pushed my client, my client punched him,” he said.
“But he’s putting his hand up to say ‘I’m guilty’.”
Mr Manwaring said his client had been involved in an incident at a mine where a loader had dumped its load on Lewis’ vehicle, which “nearly killed him.”
His employment stopped after the incident and he got a different job at Kennard’s Hire but for substantially less pay.
As a result he had started drinking more, Mr Manwaring said.
“He’s had to deal with what’s happened to him,” he said.
Mr Manwaring asked the magistrate, Terry Lucas, to consider imposing a fine for the charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but to bear in mind his client only earned $1000 gross per week.
But Mr Lucas said Lewis was lucky he was not sending him to jail.
“This gentleman did nothing but had a good night ... you assaulted him,” he said.
“You had the foresight to run, hide, double back and tried to get in a taxi.
“Your record shows nothing but alcohol offences ... you clearly have a problem.”