Late voting AFL Bulldogs great assaulted election staff

Daniel Pockett/AAP PHOTOS

Former AFL great and Brownlow Medallist Tony Liberatore will have to make a $1000 charitable donation after assaulting an election worker who tried to stop him voting after a polling booth closed.

Liberatore was granted diversion for his assault of the worker, allowing him to avoid a criminal record.

The 57-year-old was given permission to appear in Broadmeadows Magistrates Court by video link on Tuesday, a day after undergoing ankle surgery.

In November last year Liberatore lined up to vote at an early voting centre in Moonee Ponds.

Shortly before Liberatore's arrival an election worker had stood at the end of the queue to stop people who arrived after 6pm from joining and voting that day.

Another worker switched places with her while she dealt with an issue inside, and when she returned she noticed Liberatore had still joined the back of the line.

The woman placed her arm out and told him she was the end of the line, prompting a verbal altercation.

Liberatore pushed the woman into a wall. The woman circled back and stood in front of him again, telling Liberatore he could not vote that day because he had arrived after closing.

Liberatore grabbed the woman by the arm and pushed her again.

He continued to use his forearm to push past her.

The election worker decided to let Liberatore vote in an effort to de-escalate the situation, but contacted police about the assault.

When officers arrived Liberatore said the woman had "walked from over there with her accent" and claimed she tried to push him.

Liberatore's lawyer said his client accepted the incident was regrettable.

He said the 1990 Brownlow winner played 283 games for Western Bulldogs and Footscray, and continued to be involved in sport.

When he is not injuring himself still attempting to play football at 57, he runs a first aid company selling defibrillators and other first aid equipment, his lawyer said.

He also provides first aid training to professional and community-based organisations, sits on boards, coaches football and is involved in charities.

Magistrate Bob Kumar ordered Liberatore be of good behaviour for three months and donate $1000 to the Royal Children's Hospital.