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Former West Coast Eagle Ben Cousins jailed for a year for VRO breaches
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Ben Cousins’ “tale of despair and missed opportunities” has landed him a 12-month jail term for stalking his former partner and repeatedly breaching a violence restraining order.

The fallen AFL legend and long-term ice user was jailed today by a magistrate who acknowledged his need for rehabilitation but said he had to send a clear message to the community.

Cousins, 38, bombarded his ex Maylea Tinecheff with more than 2000 texts and phone calls between January and February this year and approached her at her church, her home and their children’s school.

He tried to contact her 542 times in November last year, including 103 times in a single day.

Ben Cousins’ lawyer Michael Tudori speaks outside court this morning.

A violence restraining order has been in place since May 2016 that prevents Cousins from approaching within 50m of his former partner.

Cousins was also caught driving in Melville while his license was suspended on medical grounds in February and when police searched the car they found 8g of methylamphetamine.

A search of his wardrobe at his parent’s home also uncovered a used glass smoking implement.

Defence lawyer Michael Tudori implored magistrate Richard Huston to impose a suspended sentence and an intensive supervision order to allow Cousins to undergo residential rehabilitation.

He said the Brownlow medallist had been using 2g of meth a day, meaning the 8g police found would have lasted him four days.

Mr Tudori said Cousins was a very different person after his prison stint and was ready for “intensive therapy”.

“It is the first time that he is willing to grab that hand and say ‘yep, I have got to change’,” Mr Tudori said.

“What these offences are about is his desire to see his children.”

Cousins’ father Bryan was in court for his sentencing and did not comment after his son was jailed.

Mr Huston described the sentencing as a “challenging exercise” and said the repeated breaches of the restraining order were sinister and terrifying.

The former West Coast Eagles star had breached restraining orders by contacting his former partner.

He said to allocate scarce resources to people who were unwilling to engage in rehabilitation was pointless and “perhaps insulting” to people working in the field.

“It is sadly a tale of despair and missed opportunities,” Mr Huston said.

“You are and were uniquely placed to show leadership and inspiration.

“But you have declined that opportunity for many years.”

Mr Huston fined Cousins $2000 for the drug offences and $400 for driving without a license.

He was disqualified from driving for nine months.

Mr Tudori told the court Cousins had not had a “significant” job since his football career ended but said he had recently been in contact with the AFL and AFL Players’ Association.

He said the association would provide some funding towards his treatment and the West Coast Eagles had indicated they were hopeful of finding work for Cousins if he completed residential rehabilitation.

Cousins was previously transferred to WA’s specialist drug court but he was sent back to the main criminal list yesterday after his lawyer was told that court could not deal with the stalking charge.

He has been in prison since he was interviewed and charged in February.

At an earlier court appearance, prosecutors said Cousins told his father he could “stop whenever I want” but said “I’m not going to stop” and “I don’t want to” during a phone conversation from jail.

In another conversation with a friend, he said he would do a month in rehab but not “some long f***ing thing”.

Cousins will be eligible for parole after spending six months behind bars. His sentence was backdated to February.

Outside court, Mr Tudori said he would consider appealing the sentence.

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