AFL player Liam Jurrah’s legal woes have worsened, with prosecutors now claiming he attacked five people, including a woman, at a violent altercation in Alice Springs in March.
In addition to his existing charges of causing serious harm and using an offensive weapon at night, Jurrah now faces four charges of aggravated assault, which if proved could see the star jailed.
The charges were laid just hours before the Melbourne player appeared via video link in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court.
Although police in public statements had said a machete was used in the alleged attack, court documents say the weapons allegedly used by Jurrah and his co-accused, 23-year-old Christopher Walker, were an axe and a nulla nulla.
A nulla nulla is a club-like wooden weapon traditionally used by Aboriginal people and is sometimes known as a hunting stick.
Among the new allegations against Jurrah and Walker are that they harmed a woman, Ingrid White, as well as three men on the night the alleged assault took place at the Little Sisters town camp.
Previously the charges related only to an alleged assault of Jurrah’s cousin, Basil Jurrah.
Dressed in a black suit with a white shirt and wearing a tie in his club’s red and blue colours, the footballer sat impassively during the brief proceedings and did not react when prosecutor Stephen Robson told the court of the new charges.
Jurrah was not required to enter a plea at the hearing.
Mr Robson told the court alcohol may have been a factor among some of the witnesses, as many people allegedly present at the dispute had been drinking.
“To be fair there is some disparity in the oral evidence in terms of who did what,” Mr Robson said.
Counsel for Jurrah, John McBride, said identification may be an issue in the case.
There was some good news for the AFL player at the court hearing, with magistrate John Birch agreeing to vary the strict bail conditions so Jurrah can play in a game against Port Adelaide in Darwin on July 21.
Mr Birch said Jurrah could travel to Darwin on July 19 for the game but had to be accompanied by a football manager.
After the game Jurrah will be allowed to travel to Alice Springs to attend his next court appearance, which is set down for three days and will begin on July 23.
While in the town he must stay at his hotel between 7pm and 7am.
The co-accused Walker appeared before the court via video link from the Alice Springs prison.