When David Warner's three-year-old daughter burst into tears at the sight of a lurking paparazzo her uncle burst into action.
Timothy Falzon armed himself with a shovel and, without a word, smashed the windshield of the photographer's car which was parked 50 metres from the Sydney cafe where the Warner and Falzon families had been enjoying a quiet Sunday breakfast.
In Waverley Local Court on Wednesday, the lawyer for the 37-year-old brother-in-law of the banned Australian cricketer described it as an "impulsive moment of madness".
Magistrate Lisa Stapleton agreed.
Falzon avoided conviction for property damage and was placed on a one-year good behaviour bond over the April 22 incident.
A letter written by his younger sister, Candice Warner, was submitted as evidence.
The letter detailed how the Warners had been subject to weeks of intense media attention after David Warner was revealed as the protagonist in Australian ball-tampering scandal.
The opening batsman in March was banned for 12 months from all international and domestic cricket, stripped of the vice-captaincy and sent home from the South Africa Test tour in disgrace.
Ms Warner miscarried the couple's third child days later, Falzon's lawyer said.
The magistrate accepted that while the law didn't condone property damage, the community wouldn't agree with the photographer's intrusion on the "pretty unremarkable" family breakfast.
"Particularly when small children are involved," Ms Stapleton said.
Ms Stapleton said after hearing his niece sobbing, the father-of-one had recognised the paparazzo as Jayden Seyfarth, who'd been "persistent in taking photos" of the Warners in private places including at a dance studio.
Using a shovel from a ute parked nearby, Falzon smashed the windshield before leaving with his wife and son.
Falzon's lawyer submitted screenshots of the photographer's Instagram account in which Mr Seyfarth later called Falzon "scum", Ms Warner a "bitch" and revealed Falzon's address and phone number.
"It would appear Mr Seyfarth's interest in the Warners was not limited to obtaining newsworthy photographs," Ms Stapleton said.
The magistrate accepted Falzon was remorseful and had already suffered public humiliation through coverage of the incident in the media and online.
Ms Stapleton noted he had fully co-operated with police, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and not been charged with assault or intimidation.