Warrnambool Magistrate’s Court this week handed down sentence to a man who wounded four people in a fight but was too drunk to remember.

On November 28 last year Andrew John Zibell reportedly drank a “slab of beer” before going to the Merino Hotel with two women at 4pm. Police were called to a fight at the pub that began with Zibell arguing with his girlfriend over his car keys.

The man, who resides in Merino, assaulted four people including his girlfriend, a barwoman and two patrons that tried to intervene, both punching and striking with a pool cue.

He later told Police he couldn’t remember the incident due to his level of intoxication. In Court defence counsel Xavier Farrelly reported his client had not been taking his medication.

Magistrate John Lesser described the case as serious, citing alcohol as a major factor. He convicted and sentenced Zibell to six months, with 146 days already served. Pending his release he will undertake an 18-month community corrections order, including 120 hours’ community work and treatment programs, and be prohibited from associating with his former girlfriend or entering licensed premises.

The sentence could be considered light in view of the serious nature of the personal and physical damage inflicted, which included smashing the hotel’s front window.

However, the question arises as to how a patron that had already consumed a whole case of beer continued to be allowed to inhabit and presumably continue drinking at the Hotel.

Merino Hotel. Image: Google
Merino Hotel. Image: Google
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