George Calombaris Escapes Assault Conviction
MasterChef host George Calombaris has had his assault conviction overturned by a Sydney judge.
The restaurateur was fined $1000 after pleading guilty in Downing Centre Local Court in October for assaulting a then 19-year-old at the A-League grand final between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory in Sydney.
But Judge Andrew Scotting overturned the conviction on Wednesday after agreeing with Calombaris' lawyer that the 39-year-old had suffered significant financial and personal loss and was unlikely to re-offend.
His lawyer, David Edwardson, told the NSW District Court appeal hearing Calombaris had lost $750,000 in endorsements after Bulla Dairy and ULR Land Rover severed ties with him.
Calombaris told the judge he was deeply remorseful for his actions and he had stood down from his role as Victory's number one ticket holder and banned himself from attending football games in Australia for 12 months.
Judge Scotting said Calombaris was of "exceptional character" and set aside the conviction and placed him on a 12-month good behaviour bond.
Outside court, Calombaris said he was relieved the ordeal was over.
"I also want to reiterate my apologies to Melbourne Victory football club and Football Federation Australia for any impact of my actions on the reputation of the sport that I absolutely love," he said.