A young father who bashed a patron and security guard at a popular Wollongong nightclub left court grinning with his family when he pleaded guilty to his part in the brawl last month.
But on Wednesday, Marley Damoiseaux's smile was turned upside down as the reality of a potential jail sentence sunk in, which would have seen him miss the pivotal moments of his baby's life.
"This is a matter which is extremely serious ... you decided to act in this absolutely abhorrent way," Magistrate Michael Ong told Damoiseaux at Wollongong Local Court.
However the magistrate spared Damoiseaux, 20, time behind bars, allowing him to serve his sentence in the community by way of a 15-month intensive correction order.
Damoiseaux was celebrating his sister, Montel Damoiseaux's birthday, at Mr Crown on July 18, when a male patron bumped into his partner.
He reacted by pushing the man in the chest, which sparked an argument and allegedly caught the attention of Montel's partner, Jett Monroe, who is accused of joining the push and shove.
Damoiseaux then attacked the man with "a flurry of punches for about 20 seconds". A security guard approached to break up the fight however Montel allegedly hit him with a large strobe light.
Police claim the guard dragged Montel towards the exit however she fell to the ground due to physically resisting.
Damoiseaux then launched himself at the guard and shoved him in the chest, before he punched another man - who was speaking with his partner - in the face.
Police drove past the venue about 12.05am and saw a shirtless and agitated Damoiseaux standing with a group who were having a heated argument with security.
Damoiseaux pleaded guilty to one count of affray on August 16, while Montel and Monroe are yet to enter pleas to to their respective charges.
The magistrate said the matter was so serious it attracted a jail sentence, however Damoiseaux's lack of a criminal record saved him from time behind bars.
"There is one main criteria to whether or not you get to go home today or whether you go into that box there (the dock) and wait for corrective services to take you away," Magistrate Ong said.
"I'm going to miss out on my baby's whole life," Damoiseaux pleaded.
"Because you're not someone with a record ... I'm satisfied you can serve it (the sentence) in the community," the magistrate said.
Damoiseaux must complete 150 hours of unpaid community service work on top of his sentence. Monroe will face court in September, while Montel will appear in October.
Read more Illawarra court and crime stories here.