Ben Cousins' ex grilled about custody feud

Michael Ramsey
·3-min read

The ex-partner of fallen AFL star Ben Cousins has denied threatening to refuse him access to their children unless he shared the profits of a paid television interview.

Cousins has pleaded not guilty to aggravated stalking and 20 counts of breaching a family violence restraining order relating to his ex-partner, Maylea Tinecheff, in Perth in April this year.

The former West Coast Eagles captain, who has been behind bars since April after police found him in East Victoria Park in possession of about 2.5 grams of methamphetamine, faced a two-day trial in Armadale Magistrates Court which concluded on Thursday.

Magistrate Brian Mahon has reserved his decision until next Wednesday.

Ms Tinecheff told the court Cousins relentlessly tried to contact her and their two young children despite being prohibited from doing so, and that he only sporadically paid child support.

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

Ms Tinecheff on Thursday was asked about her contact with a friend of Cousins after his appearance in a "tell-all" interview on the Seven Network in March.

"Did you tell (her), 'Unless Ben starts paying me money, he's not going to see his children'?" Cousins' lawyer Julie Condon QC asked, noting that Cousins had been paid about $100,000 for the interview which is believed to have been placed into a trust.

"No way. I wouldn't say that," Ms Tinecheff replied

"That's not the issue. I haven't had any money from Ben for a long, long, long time and I've always allowed him to see the children unless he's a mess."

Phone records showed calls were made to Cousins from Ms Tinecheff's phone on the day of the first alleged breach, Ms Condon said.

Ms Tinecheff said it would likely have been the children but later said she couldn't remember her conversations from the period.

During the combative cross-examination, she denied trying to keep Cousins away from the children when it suited her.

"I'm not on trial here ... you're making me feel like I am," Ms Tinecheff said.

"I haven't done anything wrong here. There's no vindictiveness or anything."

Ms Tinecheff 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".

Asked whether she was applying double standards, Ms Tinecheff said there was no comparison between her behaviour and that of Cousins.

"If I was behaving in the manner that he was, if my children were petrified of me and they were getting screamed and yelled at ... you haven't seen him in that condition," she said.

"He is not safe to be with the children."

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.