Kyabram Free Press
No jail for man who hit cop
A man who punched an off-duty police officer and threatened to "bash him out of Barmah" has avoided jail time at the Echuca Magistrates’ Court.
Matthew Kevin Guthrie, 36, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker, intimidating police and a family member of police, making a threat to kill and committing an indictable offence while on bail, regarding an incident involving Nathalia police Sergeant Bruce Rigoni.
Guthrie knew Sgt Rigoni via "extensive dealings" in a professional capacity.
It was heard he attended Sgt Rigoni's Barmah house after drinking beer at his sister's nearby house late on November 18, 2020. Guthrie was observed armed with a three-foot pipe — later identified to be a golf club — with which he was seen to swing into bushes and trees and say "that's your f------ head", "you're a c---, you're a f------ c---, I'm going to kill you" and "I'm gonna f-----kill you Bruce".
Sgt Rigoni went outside to investigate the noise, and found Guthrie in the vacant block of land surrounding his boundary fence. He attempted to convince Guthrie — who he believed was substance-affected — to leave, but instead Guthrie approached the victim and punched him in the face over the fence.
Sgt Rigoni swung his torch and struck Guthrie in the face. Guthrie stood up and attempted to ride his mobility scooter away, before Sgt
Rigoni pushed him off and he ran away.
Guthrie returned to the house at around 1.45am. Sgt Rigoni remained inside and called 000, with police arriving to arrest Guthrie.
At sentencing, Magistrate Russell Kelly imposed an 18-month corrections order, but warned Guthrie he would be jailed for further similar offending.
“If you're back for anything similar to this, you'll be looking at a jail term — you were that close this time,” he said.
The corrections order includes 150 hours of community work, assessment and treatment for drug and alcohol abuse and assessment and treatment for mental health.
Guthrie is also not permitted to enter Barmah for six months.