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Boofhead country culture  blamed for violence
Convicted: Marley Williams. Picture: Laurie Benson/The West Australian

The "boofhead country culture" that is thriving in regional WA was peaking to a frenzy on the night that has changed Collingwood footballer Marley Williams' life for ever.

Williams, 20, is facing a possible jail term after being found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to Perth man Matthew Robertson by breaking his jaw in two places outside an Albany nightclub during boozy Boxing Day festivities in 2012.

Just a drop punt down the street from where Williams delivered the one-punch attack, his mother Joanne Western cried openly in the Albany District Court on Thursday night as her son was warned of jail.

It was a sobering moment to end a drunken debacle where there were no winners on either side - a rising AFL star with his career in limbo, a man with two titanium plates in his jaw, both of their families upset and angry.

For Malcolm Pages, co-owner of the Studio 146 nightclub where Williams' Christmas trip home was ruined, it was just another night of alcohol-fuelled farce that has become all too common.

Williams admitted he drank up to nine vodkas in the 12 hours leading up to the incident. Mr Robertson had a blood alcohol reading of 0.29, or nearly six times the legal driving limit.

His friend, Casey Smith, said he drank 20 full-strength beers, including eight pints, and three rums in the day-long session.

"When there are recognised events on in town, there is a culture of just getting as drunk as you can get," Mr Pages said, revealing that on the night in question, 60 people were refused entry because of drunkenness.

"I've been in Albany for 16 years and been trying to tell young people they can't throw ice at others in the nightclub, they can't pick a mate up, spin him around the dance floor and knock over some chick who is wearing a $200 outfit, or pick up your mate and throw him into the crowd.

"Sporting clubs have '$100 days' where you can just get as drunk as you can possibly get from midday. You can imagine what they're like when I see them at 11pm.

"In country towns which have that boozy mentality and don't respect anything anybody says, I reckon the divide is getting larger. It is just a boofhead country culture."

Albany police have become so sick of the boorish behaviour and thuggery at the annual Boxing Day races, they have threatened to close bars at the track and at the city's pubs and clubs.

Williams had flown from Collingwood's high-altitude training camp in Utah to Los Angeles and then to Melbourne and Perth to lob in Albany on Christmas Day in 2012. He spent the next day happily catching up with family and friends at various places, including the race track, before ending up at Studio 146.

It was there he claimed Mr Robertson and a friend Ian Parry had rained punches down on him in the toilet just minutes before he threw his punch, described by prosecutor Tony Loudon as a vindictive and malicious "haymaker" in a case of "simple revenge".

Williams, who was allowed by Judge Julie Wager to train privately on each morning of the trial, claimed he was acting in self-defence as the pair converged on him outside the venue.

But in a police interview an hour after the incident, he did not speak of any intimidation or threat.

The court was shown graphic photographs of Mr Robertson's injuries as he lay in hospital awaiting surgery to correct what medical experts said would almost certainly have otherwise led to eating problems because of an incorrect bite.

Security video footage of the incident appeared to show his arms were folded at the time he was hit. The court was told Mr Parry had accused Williams of a "dog shot".

Collingwood yesterday released a statement confirming they would stand by Wagin-born Williams, who signed a contract late last year that ties him to the club until the end of 2017.

Williams was back in Melbourne yesterday and his devastated mother was also taking time away from her Albany home. Her sisters and brothers-in-law last night said in a statement to The Weekend West: "On behalf of Marley's mother Joanne and our extended family, we have been shattered by the results of this week.

"But we remain very proud of Marley and what he's achieved to date. We also remain committed to supporting him and we are very grateful to the genuine support given to him from the Collingwood, Claremont and North Albany football clubs.

"This has been a distressing time for all of us in our strong and united family and we now hope and want to get on with our lives."

Williams was released on $10,000 bail.

He is expected to be sentenced in Perth on April 22.