Ex-AFL star jailed over jealous assaults

Rick Goodman
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SHANNON GRANT COURT

Former AFL North Melbourne player Shannon Grant ... deeply ashamed of his actions

Former AFL star Shannon Grant must fight for his freedom after being jailed for jealously assaulting his girlfriend a number of times as he struggled with alcohol issues.

Grant, 41, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to several assaults on the woman, including stomping on her bare foot after she got out of a bath at a Victorian resort.

He was jailed for six months by a Melbourne magistrate but spent only two hours in custody as he immediately appealed the sentence and was released on bail.

The North Melbourne premiership midfielder admitted assaulting the woman at his Highett home, at a suburban beach and at a Yarra Valley resort in 2017.

During the incident at Balgownie Estate, Grant also knocked the woman to the ground and fell on her, causing her to hit her head and elbow on the hard floor.

"She was crying, explaining that her elbow was in a lot of pain," police prosecutor Dale Andrews told Moorabbin Magistrates Court.

The woman, who subsequently left Grant, had bruising on her foot, elbow and face and had ongoing physical injuries as well as psychological trauma and fatigue.

"I felt manipulated, betrayed and unable to feel safe," she said in her victim impact statement, read by police prosecutor Dale Andrews.

"My left foot took several months to heal. I was unable to exercise for two months due to the pain."

She also cut her head when Grant had forcefully shrugged her off as they struggled over her mobile phone outside the ex-Kangaroo's home.

Grant had on each occasion tried to snatch the woman's phone away, suspecting she had been texting other men.

Defence lawyer Nicole Spicer said Grant had been having issues with alcohol and managing his emotions, and was sorry for the pain he had caused.

"He is deeply ashamed of his actions. He regrets them," she said.

Grant has attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and counselling sessions since the assaults, the court was told.

Ms Spicer urged the magistrate to give Grant a community corrections order and fine, saying he had already lost his job as coach of St Kevin's Old Boys amateur football club since his arrest.

"It was a position he really enjoyed and found satisfaction in," she said.

"He has personally suffered very significant consequences in relation to the offending."

Magistrate Thomas Barrett instead jailed Grant for six months after he pleaded guilty to three counts of assault and one of recklessly causing injury.

Grant was taken away by guards but did not stay long in custody.

He launched an appeal, to be heard in August, and was released on bail by the same magistrate, with prosecutors unopposed.

Grant played 301 AFL games, including 243 for North Melbourne. He won the club's best and fairest in 2001, along with the 1999 Norm Smith medal.