Disgraced AFL player Ben Cousins convicted of stalking ex-partner

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Ben Cousins is seen here with his ex-partner Maylea Tinecheff.
Ben Cousins will remain behind bars after being convicted of stalking his ex-partner Maylea Tinecheff. Pic: Ch7/Getty

Fallen AFL star Ben Cousins will remain behind bars for at least another fortnight after being convicted of stalking his ex-partner but acquitted by a Perth court of restraining order breaches.

Cousins had pleaded not guilty to the charges, including 20 counts of breaching a family violence restraining order relating to his ex-partner, Maylea Tinecheff, in April this year.

The former West Coast Eagles captain spent more than six months behind bars before facing a two-day trial in Armadale Magistrates Court.

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On Wednesday, magistrate Brian Mahon delivered his reserved decision, sentencing Cousins to seven months in prison but backdating it to his April 22 arrest.

It means Cousins, who was also made eligible for parole, will remain behind bars until later this month.

Ms Tinecheff said during last week's trial that Cousins had relentlessly tried to contact her and their two young children despite being prohibited from doing so.

She and the children moved house in April because Cousins' behaviour was "out of control", she said.

Mr Mahon said regardless of his intent, Cousins had bombarded Ms Tinecheff with text messages and phone calls, including as many as 29 in one day.

"I accept that his motivation, although unwise ... was intending to establish contact or re-establish contact with his children," he said.

Court heard Cousins ‘not safe’ to be with kids

However, in relation to the other charges, Mr Mahon said the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the order applied at all relevant times.

He said the prosecution had provided "rather loose" written submissions and miscalculated the number of charges at the start of the trial.

Cousins was arrested in April after police found him in East Victoria Park in possession of about 2.5 grams of methamphetamine.

He was fined for the drug possession but denied bail in relation to his other charges.

In her evidence Ms Tinecheff denied having threatened to refuse Cousins access to their children unless he shared the profits of a paid television interview.

Ben Cousins is seen here on a paid, tell-all interview on Channel 7 in 2020.
Ben Cousins was criticised for a paid, tell-all interview earlier in the year. Pic: Channel 7

The court heard Cousins had been paid about $100,000 for the interview, which is believed to have been placed into a trust.

During a combative cross-examination, Ms Tinecheff denied trying to keep Cousins away from the children when it suited her, saying he was "not safe" to be with them.

She was also asked about her conviction last year for driving with methamphetamine in her system while her children were in the car, describing it as a "minimal reading".

Cousins has previously served almost a year behind bars for stalking Ms Tinecheff.

The 42-year-old has had well-documented issues with meth addiction and 22 convictions for VRO breaches, 20 of which resulted in a prison sentence.

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