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BREAKING: Attacker fined $25,000 for assault on ex-Kangaroos player

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A magistrate has slammed a 21-year-old man’s attack on retiring North Melbourne player Jack Ziebell as “vile, repugnant and utterly stupid”, as he fined him $25,000.

Ibrahim Behluli sat in the front row of Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday, where he was sentenced after pleading guilty to intentionally causing injury and affray over last year’s bashing.

Ziebell was enjoying retirement celebrations with his Kangaroos teammates at The Osborne Rooftop and Bar in South Yarra, when three men began fighting with some of the players, the court was told in December.
Jack Ziebell
Jack Ziebell was out celebrating in Melbourne when three men began fighting with some of his teammates. (Getty)

Players Charlie Comben and Curtis Taylor were involved in a scuffle inside the bar, on August 20 last year, after Behluli began arguing with Comben.

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The fight then escalated and Masihullah Rawani, 27, and Abdul Karim, 29, also became involved.

They held on to Comben as he tried to get up from a bench, before Behluli struck Comben six times in the back of his neck.

Taylor tried to intervene and the three men were kicked out by security.

Ziebell was told members of his group had been involved in a fight and walked outside to check about 1am, when he was confronted by Behluli and Rawani outside the bar.

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The retiring player was pushed against a wall and Behluli punched him and knocked him to the ground.

He then kicked Ziebell while he lay on the ground and walked off.

Ziebell was taken to hospital, suffering a broken nose and cuts to his upper lip.

He and his wife wrote statements about the impact of the attack on their lives, but these were handed straight up to Magistrate David Starvaggi and not read out in court.
A court has heard AFL player Charlie Comben was bashed just minutes before teammate Jack Ziebell was attacked during his retirement celebrations.
The incident unfolded during Ziebell’s retirement celebrations. (9News)

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The prosecutor had called for Behluli to be jailed over the attack, but Starvaggi decided to fine him due to his young age and early plea of guilty.

The offending was committed in “gratuitous circumstances by young males in an almost packed environment”, the magistrate said.

He asked Behluli to stand as he issued him a warning after convicting him of the two charges and fining him $25,000.

“Your conduct was nothing short of reprehensible,” he told Behluli.

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“You acted in a vile, repugnant and utterly stupid manner.

“If you engage in this sort of conduct again in the future… you will be jailed for a substantially long time.”

Behluli wore a white T-shirt inside court, but tried to disguise himself from media by donning a large puffer jacket, sunglasses and a face mask when he left.

Rawani was fined $1800 for his role in the offending, and Karim had his charges dismissed.

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