Michael Varnum has been found guilty of assault. Photo: Darren Pateman Peter Lalor was left with headaches, nausea and dizziness for six weeks after the assault. Photo: Darren Pateman
Peter Lalor recovering in hospital in February last year. Photo: Peter Stoop PAS
Former police officer and cricketer Michael Varnum has been found guilty of assaulting an opposing player with his cricket bat.
Varnum, a former police sergeant and first grade cricketer, had pleaded not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm after being accused of hitting Jewells Tavern Beavers bowler Peter Lalor twice over the head whilst playing for Merewether in the B5 City and Suburban competition.
A hearing last year heard Varnum and Mr Lalor had had a mid-wicket collision as Varnum was attempting a run, the Newcastle Herald reports.
Beavers teammates of Lalor’s gave evidence that they saw Varnum lift his bat above his head and strike Mr Lalor as the bowler lay prone on the ground.
Varnum said there was no deliberate act and his bat might have come into contact with Mr Lalor’s head as he jumped over him to complete the run.
But on Wednesday magistrate Robert Stone described Varnum as appearing “arrogant” and “almost cocky” compared to the evidence given by Mr Lalor and members of the Beavers.
Mr Stone found Varnum had twice struck Mr Lalor in the head after the pair had collided as Varnum had attempted a run.
The blows led to Mr Lalor requiring nine sutures and led to more than six weeks of headaches, nausea and dizziness.
Mr Stone found Varnum guilty and adjourned the matter until March.
Mr Lalor said outside court that he was relieved with the decision.
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