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Man who attacked AFL player Jack Ziebell hours after his final match avoids jail time

In Short: Ibrahim Behluli has avoided jail time after assaulting former AFL player Jack Ziebell outside a Melbourne pub.
Ziebell was celebrating the conclusion of his career with teammates when he was set upon by strangers, leaving him hospitalised and requiring surgery.
What’s Next? Behluli has been ordered to pay a $25,000 fine over his role in the attack.

A man who attacked former AFL player Jack Ziebell outside a Melbourne pub on the night of his retirement has avoided jail time.

Ziebell was hospitalised and required facial surgery after being set upon by patrons at a South Yarra venue in August last year.

Ibrahim Behluli, 21, pleaded guilty in Melbourne Magistrate’s Court to affray and intentionally causing injury.

The court ordered Behluli to pay a $25,000 fine for his role in the attack on the former North Melbourne star.

Two other men, Masihullah Rawani and Abdul Karim, were also charged over the assault and avoided jail time, with the charges against Mr Karim dropped.

CCTV footage from the night shows an earlier scuffle between Behluli and other AFL players inside the venue, before Behluli and two friends were removed by security.

Jack Ziebell was attacked outside the Osborne Rooftop & Bar in South Yarra last year.(ABC News: Tara Whitchurch)

Behluli turned himself into police soon after the incident.

Magistrate David Starvaggi condemned the attack as “nothing short of reprehensible” and said the assault would have caused both the victim and the public at large great distress.

“You acted in a violent, repugnant and utterly stupid manner,” Mr Starvaggi said.

Prosecutors pushed for Behluli to be jailed for the crime, with his legal defence appealing for leniency based on his youth and that he turned himself in.

The magistrate warned Behluli that he risked a serious amount of time behind bars if he was found guilty of further crimes.

“You didn’t get away with anything, that fine is a significant one and that conviction will have dramatic impacts and consequences for you going forward,” he said.

“If you engage in this sort of conduct again in the future, in my opinion, short of a miracle, you will be jailed for a substantial amount of time.”

Ziebell and his wife submitted victim impact statements to the court, with the 32-year-old saying he will require further surgery this year to rectify damage done to his nose during the assault.

Source: AFL NEWS ABC

    

Author: Russell White