Buccs star fined over nightclub incident

Geraldton Guardian

A Geraldton Buccaneers basketball player who threw a shaker cup at a woman’s head has been fined $3500 in Geraldton Magistrate’s Court.

Dwayne Benjamin, 24, appeared in court last week charged with assault occasioning bodily harm, for which he originally pleaded not guilty.

After changing his plea, Benjamin was ordered to pay the amount to the victim, relating to an incident occurring at about 12.50am on May 14.

Benjamin was leaving the toilets in Vibe Nightclub when he saw a friend having an argument with a man at the bar.

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He tried to separate the two and defuse the argument, but it escalated when one of the men refused to shake hands. While trying to hold back her partner, a woman threw the contents of her drink at Benjamin.

Benjamin then threw a hard shaker cup at the woman’s head, causing injury.

He attended Geraldton Police Station where he made the admission that he “didn’t think a plastic cup would do that”.

With the S&K Electrical Geraldton Buccaneers’ season finished, Benjamin will now fulfil a contract to play in Macedonia next month.

Buccs general manager Andrew Horseman said he believed the conviction would not affect Benjamin’s visa to be able to return to Geraldton next year.

“To the best of my knowledge it doesn’t and he’s really enjoyed his time in Geraldton and has expressed an interest to return,” he said.

“The club’s position is we stood by Dwayne and he accepts the penalty that was handed down.

“I think what is really important to note that there was much remorse after the incident and I think that reflects in the fact he was very mindful and went out of his way to make sure he embraced and engaged the community from that point forward.”

Mr Horseman said they had not yet decided on next year’s team. “We would definitely sit down and consider that option (Dwayne’s return) for sure, but that’s a discussion to be had in about six weeks time.”

Benjamin won the Buccaneers' 2017 best player award, the Dan Hunt Medal, for an outstanding season in which he topped the point scoring with 792. He was a key player as the Buccs made it to within one game of the SBL grand final.

Benjamin declined requests from the Geraldton Guardian to comment.

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