Magistrate questions 5am trade, on back of drunken assault

A MAGISTRATE has criticised Wangaratta’s nightclubs for staying open into the early hours of the morning because it can lead to drunken violence.

Speaking in the Wangaratta Magistrates’ Court on Monday, magistrate John Murphy said other parts of Victoria had experienced a drop in assaults outside licences premises when closing time was changed to 3am.

“Why do we need clubs open to 5am, and ridiculous hours?” he said.

The court heard Jesse Pitt, 23, of Healesville, punched another man in the face on the night of December 2 after the pair had been dropped off in Williams Road at about 3.45am.

Discussion between the pair had become heated in the car ride.

Police prosecutor, Sergeant Mario Eliades, said Pitt had been drinking at an event in Oxley before going to the Grand Central Hotel later that night.

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