Ben Cousins refused bail over new stalking, drug and VRO charges

Ben Cousins will appear in Armadale Magistrates Court on Friday. Ben Cousins following a previous court appearance. Photo: Heather McNeill
Nanjing Night Net

Ben Cousins will spend at least two weeks behind bars after a magistrate refused him bail in relation to a string of fresh charges against the fallen star.

The former West Coast Eagles captain, who appeared handcuffed in the dock at Armadale Magistrates Court on Friday, is accused of several breaches of a violence restraining order taken out against him by his former partner and the mother of his two young children, Maylea Tinecheff.

The 38-year-old has also been charged with possessing eight grams of methamphetamine, which Magistrate Nick Lemmon said, if proven, would indicate Cousins was a “very heavy user”.

An aggravated stalking charge against the Brownlow medallist relates to “persistent” breaches of his violence restraining order which Cousins’ lawyer said were due to his attempts to see his children, aged three and five.

Some of the breaches related to Cousins attending his children’s first day of school, while two related to him showing up at the children’s Sunday school at church.

The police prosecution told Mr Lemmon that Cousins had been erratic since being taken into custody yesterday, and that police sought a 28-day holding order for his mental health to be assessed, however the magistrate did not make this order.

The police prosecutor told the court Ms Tinecheff feared for the safety of herself and her children when Cousins was “under the influence and unpredictable”.

Cousins lawyer Michael Tudori argued his client was only trying to see his children and that his former partner had manipulated the restraining order to decide when he could and couldn’t see them.

He provided an example of when the pair had recently attended the Bruce Springsteen concert together, after Ms Tinecheff asked if Cousins could get tickets from a friend.

“None of the charges relate to any violence,” Mr Tudori said.

Mr Lemmon, however, decided Cousins was too high a risk to release and indicated he would likely receive a jail term if found guilty.

“In regard to the aggravated stalking charge and patterns of breaching the VRO which involve recent convictions… if Cousins is found guilty of aggravated stalking and perhaps just one more VRO breach, in my view, the likely outcome is a term of imprisonment,” he said.

“The risks that arise are not about risk Ben Cousins will fail to appear… the risk is the risk of reoffending.

“There is now an established pattern of breaching VRO charges… in my view there are no conditions I could impose (to reduce the risk of reoffending).”

Cousins appeared confused and kept looking to his lawyer when the magistrate refused him bail.

“I take these charges very seriously your honour,” he said before Mr Lemmon reiterated that he had already made his decision.;

During a previous court hearing in December, when Cousins was fined $2000 for breaching his VRO and drug charges, the magistrate warned him he could face a mandatory jail term under family violence laws if he re-offended.

“Your record will fast catch up with you – that would be the greatest fall from grace of all time,” he said.

“You are no use to your children if you are completely wrecked because of drug issues.”

Cousins is still subject to a conditional treatment order and is seeking private help for his addiction issues.

He will appear again in court on March 10 after being arrested by police on Thursday night in Melville in Perth’s southern suburbs as he arrived at a house.

Police issued two search warrants at residences in Melville and Bicton as part of their inquiries into allegations of family violence matters.

Cousins’ resides with his girlfriend in Melville.

A search of Cousins’ car allegedly uncovered methamphetamine in his satchel.

He is charged with seven counts of breaching a VRO, aggravated stalking, possess a prohibited drug, possess smoking utensil and not having a drivers licence.

All the charges relate to incidents alleged to have occurred in late January and February.

“As a result of those inquiries, detectives executed two search warrants at residences in Melville and Bicton overnight,” police said.

Cousins’ ex-partner took a VRO out against him in May 2016.

The pair have unresolved issues in the Family Court which relate to Cousins’ visitation of the children.

An informal agreement currently in place allow the former midfielder to see his children on Fridays and Saturdays while the visits are supervised by his parents.

“[The Family Court] is the place where this all should be resolved, not this court,” Mr Tudori said on Friday.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.