TROUBLED former AFL premiership player Ben Cousins is willing to go to rehab after spending a month in prison, but his phone calls indicate he has no intention of quitting drugs, a Perth court has heard.
The former West Coast Eagles captain had a full beard and was wearing a T-shirt when he pleaded guilty in Armadale Magistrates Court on Monday to 11 offences, including aggravated stalking, drug possession.
The 38-year-old’s lawyer Michael Tudori said a rare opportunity had come up for a spot in a residential rehab program, but the police prosecutor said they were seeking a prison sentence.
The court heard Cousins’ phone calls were tapped in prison and he told his father he did not want to quit.
But Mr Tudori said those calls were made earlier in his prison stint and he no longer felt that way.
Mr Tudori said his client had a very long and entrenched drug addiction, and had previously been reluctant to address his problem. He said four weeks in prison had been sobering for Cousins and a rare opportunity had now come up for a spot in a residential rehab program, which he was willing to do.
“He’s ready and willing to enter a residential rehabilitation program,” he said.
If the Brownlow medallist enters the program, it will last at least six months.
The court heard Cousins’ phone calls were tapped in prison and in one conversation, he said he did not mind “dressing this up as a rehab”. Cousins told his father he could quit whenever he wanted.
“I have a bit of gear and it makes me feel normal,” he said.
“I’m not going to stop. I don’t want to stop.”
Mr Tudori said those calls were made earlier in his prison stint and he no longer felt that way.
Magistrate Stephen Wilson said the matter would be better dealt with in the drug court and said the psychological report could be passed on there. Cousins, who appeared frustrated as he buried his head in his arms, was remanded in custody to appear in Perth Magistrates Court next Monday.
His mother was in court and he looked at her a few times during proceedings, but she refused to speak to reporters as she left.
Outside court, Mr Tudori said Cousins was disappointed with the setback and wanted to start the road to rehab.
Mr Tudori denied the phone calls were damaging, saying they were made when he was still craving drugs.
“I’m very concerned that he’ll lose his (rehab) opportunity,” he said.
Mr Tudori said he had noticed his client was now speaking better and was no longer agitated.
When Cousins was arrested, he allegedly had eight grams of meth and told officers he had a high tolerance.
The VRO was taken out by his former partner Maylea Tinecheff, with whom he has two young children.
In December Cousins revealed he has lost his fortune and was living out of a backpack and didn’t know what to do.
“It’s hard to know where to go to,” he told News Corp.
“I am living out of a backpack at the moment.
“I move between three mate’s houses, spend time on different couches. There’s a lady I knock around with these days who I stay with, otherwise I just move on to another place.”
Days later it was revealed the Brownlow medallist turned down an offer from the AFL to pay for his drug rehabilitation, according to his friends.
He won’t go to rehab,” a friend told the Sunday Herald Sun.
“He’s not capable of going to rehab at this stage. If you’re so damaged mentally from the drug use, it won’t work.”
Cousins, who has previously said he has used ice, cocaine and pills, was still in the grip of addiction, a friend said.
“He’ll smash through a glass door to get stuff, it’s just shocking,” the source said.
“Ben’s just at the top of the pyramid, underneath there’s a lot of people suffering. The mother of his kids deserve the attention, they will be getting the attention, not him.”
The AFL made the offer of rehabilitation to Cousins in the middle of last year, via his family.
Online Source: www.news.com.au