'Didn't think that through': Magistrate rips Panthers during Tyrone May sentencing

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

The lawyer for Penrith Panthers player Tyrone May faced an awkward encounter with the playmaker’s magistrate on Friday, as the 23-year-old was sentenced for filming sex tapes without consent.

May was spared jail on Friday after being sentenced to a three-year good behaviour bond.

He was also ordered to perform 300 hours of community service, having pleaded guilty to four counts of intentionally recording intimate image without consent.

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The 23-year-old hasn't played since September 2018 after being stood down under the league's controversial no-fault policy in May last year.

He was one of the first players forced to sit out under the policy, which sidelines players if they face criminal charges carrying a maximum 11 years in jail or more.

May's lawyer, Richard Pontello SC, was involved in an awkward back and forth with magistrate Robyn Denes when he put forward May’s work with Penrith’s community programs.

Penrith's Tyrone May escaped a custodial sentence for filming sex tapes without consent after a magistrate placed him on a three-year good behaviour bond. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

One specific program Pontello brought up, ‘Panthers on the Prowl’, didn’t escape attention from the magistrate.

“What an inappropriate name,” Ms Denes remarked.

“As soon as I read it, I went 'well they didn't think that one through did they'.

“They might need to change that name because, well, that's the way it reads."

Ms Denes’ comments were reported by ABC court reporter Jamie McKinnell.

May’s lawyers still to meet with NRL

It is unclear whether May's time on the sideline last year will be taken into account when considering his punishment.

He pleaded guilty in November.

May's legal representatives are expected to urge the NRL to include his absence from the game in a formal submission next week.

The earliest May, who is off-contract at the end of the year, could appear for the Panthers is during the NRL Nines exhibition in Perth beginning February 14.

May, who has continued training with the team, was supported at Parramatta Local Court by teammate Nathan Cleary, as well as coach Ivan.