Champion jockey Danny Nikolic has been found guilty of assaulting a fellow jockey and a police detective.
Nikolic was accused of attacking jockey Mark Pegus at the Caulfield Racecourse in January 2011.
The Magistrates Court heard Nikolic punched Pegus several times during an argument and Pegus suffered a cut lip and black eye.
Nikolic fought the charges saying the he acted in self defence and Pegus pushed him first.
He told the court he only managed to overpower Pegus by grabbing his throat and pinning him to a wall.
The magistrate said she doubted the reliability of Nikolic’s evidence as what he told police and what he later told the court differed.
She found the charge of recklessly caused injury to Pegus proven.
Nikolic was also found guilty of assaulting Victoria Police Detective Julio Salerno during an interview at the St Kilda Police headquarters in April 2011.
The court heard Nikolic and Detective Salerno had a verbal fight and both used inflammatory and intemperate language.
It ended with them toe-to-toe with their foreheads touching after Nikolic aggressively jumped up from a chair.
The magistrate told the court while police could have handled the situation better, Nikolic’s behaviour did amount to assault.
Nikolic’s lawyer told the court his client has been subjected to enormous amounts of adverse publicity, had no prior convictions and was banned from racing.
Nikolic was fined a $1500 for the assaults.
He has yet to face charges of assaulting Mark Pegus’s girlfriend in another incident in March 2011.
Nikolic also faces a further charge of misconduct over allegations he threatened a steward.
Racing Victoria stewards will now consider whether to pursue Nikolic over the Pegus assault under the rules of racing.
The stewards had to wait for the outcome of the criminal matter before deciding whether to proceed.
Nikolic’s 12-month disqualification from racing for threatening chief racing steward, Terry Bailey, concluded at midnight.
He will now have to reapply for his racing licence.
If Nikolic is successful, he will then need to serve a 12-month suspension as part of the Bailey penalty.
That would mean he could return to track work and trials, but not racing.