Ben Cousins fined $2000 for restraining order breach and drug charges

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Ben Cousins
Ben Cousins at the 2006 AFL Grand Final parade in Melbourne, Australia. Rulesfan, Wikipedia public domain

Ben Cousins was fined US$2,000 (AU $ 2,671)  in Armadale Magistrates Court on Tuesday for breaches of a violence restraining order and drug charges. The Brownlow medallist admitted that he approached the house of his ex-partner Maylea Tinecheff. He breached a court order not allowing him within 50 metres of her home.

Cousins was supported by his mother in court. He told the magistrate he was seeking treatment for his drug problem. “I can honestly say I am in a better place than I have been for some time.  I firmly believe that I am on the right path to overcome this. I've been battling this for years. I am getting treatment.” He also admitted to being in possession of nearly two grams of methampethamine after a car crash last month.

During his sentencing remarks, the magistrate warned Cousins if he breached his violence restraining order again, he could face a mandatory jail term. "Your record will fast catch up with you - that would be the greatest fall from grace of all time.”

Police prosecutors told Cousins that he be sentenced to a suspended term of imprisonment and be placed on a community order to make him accountable to the court for his drug rehabilitation. However, the magistrate took into account his recent efforts of seeking help from a private psychiatrist. The magistrate decided to go with the less serious penalty of fines.

The court was told that the treatment is intensive. It was also revealed to the court that his psychiatrist has the authority to hospitalise him against his will if he begins to show erratic behaviour.

Magistrate Stephen Wilson told Cousins that he was coming perilously close to being caught in WA's mandatory sentencing laws for three strikes of breaching a VRO. “You are absolutely no use to your children if you are absolutely wrecked by your drug issues. You can't let them see you in that wrecked state and if you keep on taking drugs you will end up coming to a premature end."

Recently, Michael Tudori, Cousins lawyer, told the court that the media reporting of Cousins' downfall exaggerated his mental health issues. And that to some extent his ex-partner had used the restraining order to control the way he sees his children.