Cousins refused bail over stalking, drugs

Angie Raphael
Former AFL star Ben Cousins has been refused bail over fresh charges related to family violence.

Troubled AFL premiership player Ben Cousins will remain behind bars for at least two weeks and could face a prison sentence if convicted of new stalking and drug charges.

The former West Coast Eagles captain appeared dishevelled and with a full beard when he appeared in Armadale Magistrates Court on Friday charged with 11 offences.

Search warrants were issued at residences in Melville and Bicton overnight, and Cousins was arrested when he arrived in a car at the Melville home.

The 38-year-old faces seven counts of breaching a violence restraining order, aggravated stalking, driving without a licence, and possessing a prohibited drug and smoking utensil.

Cousins allegedly had 8g of meth and told officers it was because he was a heavy drug user and had a high tolerance.

The VRO was taken out by his former partner Maylea Tinecheff, with whom he has two young children.

The court heard the stalking charge and VRO breaches over the past two months related to Cousins visiting the children's school and church, and making repeated phone calls to his former partner.

His lawyer Michael Tudori sought bail for Cousins, saying Ms Tinecheff used the VRO to manipulate the way Cousins could see his children.

"She uses it when it suits her and when it doesn't she contacts the police," he said.

Mr Tudori used an example of the pair recently attending a Bruce Springsteen concert together without incident after she asked him to use his contacts to secure them seats.

He said it would be unjust to send Cousins to prison if he was convicted of the breaches, given the circumstances of the alleged offending.

Magistrate Nicholas Lemmon said when viewed in isolation the breaches were not serious, but in context were seen in a different light, noting Cousins had a pattern of similar convictions.

The court heard police were also concerned about Cousins' mental health and had observed erratic behaviour from him.

Mr Lemmon said the risk of reoffending was significant and no conditions would be adequate to reduce it.

A visibly distressed Cousins interjected to try to persuade the magistrate, saying: "I take the charges very seriously, your honour."

But Mr Lemmon said he had already decided to refuse bail.

Cousins will return to court on March 10.