Cousins jailed for stalking ex-partner

Angie Raphael
Perth court jails Ben Cousins for one year

From the triumph of a Brownlow medal and AFL premiership, to the devastation of drug addiction, Ben Cousins' fall from grace has culminated in a one-year prison sentence for causing "ongoing terror" to his ex-partner.

The former West Coast captain admitted to stalking and repeatedly breaching a violence restraining order taken out by his former partner Maylea Tinecheff, with whom he has two young children.

Without significant employment since the end of his football career, Cousins has been living off his savings, Perth Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday.

He was willing to do 12 months of residential rehabilitation, to be partly paid for by the AFL Players' Association, and the Eagles had offered to help with employment afterwards.

But it was not enough to convince magistrate Richard Huston, who described Cousins' criminal behaviour as "persistent, sustained and intended".

He said Cousins caused ongoing terror, misery, fear and anxiety to the victim.

The VRO breaches stemmed from Cousins visiting his children's school and church, and repeatedly calling Ms Tinecheff.

Cousins called her more than 2000 times between October and February.

He contacted her 371 times last month, including 50 calls in one day. In November, he contacted her 542 times, including 103 times in one day.

The police prosecutor said she feared for her safety, and that of her children, because Cousins was unpredictable when on drugs.

When Cousins was arrested, police found eight grams of methamphetamine, which his lawyer Michael Tudori said would only last four days.

Mr Tudori said Cousins had "hit rock bottom" with his heavy drug usage, which caused psychosis.

"It's the root of all his problems."

Mr Tudori said Cousins had been reluctant to address his addiction, but his five-week prison stint had changed him.

"The ultimate master of his own destiny is himself," he said.

"No one can force him, but he's at the stage where he accepts that he needs to grab the hand of help.

"He needs intensive therapy."

But Mr Huston said Cousins had been in a position to show leadership and inspiration, but he had instead made a series of poor decisions, and general deterrence was important.

Cousins, who previously pleaded guilty to 11 offences, will be eligible for parole after serving six months behind bars.

The 38-year-old was also fined $2400 for drug possession and driving without a licence, and was disqualified from driving for a further nine months.

Cousins' father Bryan refused to speak to reporters afterwards, but Mr Tudori said Cousins was disappointed with the sentence, adding he was unsure if the case would be appealed, but he would consider it.

"It's the first time that I've seen Ben in a long time that he's very clear thinking, his mental health is very stable, and it's a shame that the opportunity's missed for him to go into residential rehab," he said.

West Coast great Glen Jakovich hopes jail will allow the fallen champion to get clean.

"Hopefully the next six months he doesn't touch drugs and he gets the right counselling and therapy he needs," he told AAP.

"He needs to start getting some structure and some programs, and just get healthy for his own safety and wellbeing."