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Court told Ben Cousins ‘self-medicating’ over custody battle

Ben Cousins’ lawyer says the fallen AFL star has “accepted he needs to change” and has made a “huge step” by agreeing to enter a full-time residential rehabilitation program.

Appearing on behalf of the troubled footballer in the Armadale Magistrate’s Court today, lawyer Michael Tudori said the past four weeks behind bars had been “sobering” for Cousins and that he was finally “ready and willing” to deal with his drug addiction.

Cousins, who pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including breaches of a violence restraining order, aggravated stalking and possessing 8g of methamphetamine, has been in custody since his arrest on February 23.

The 38-year-old repeatedly breached an order that banned him from being within 50m of his former partner Maylea Tinecheff.

It was previously revealed in court Cousins first breached the order when he attended his daughter’s first day of school on January 31.

“He’s come to the realisation that if he’s going to be there for his children he needs to deal with his drug addiction”

Ben Cousins’ lawyer Michael Tudori

The next day, he did the same thing, shouting the names of his children over the school fence.

Three days later, he attended a church where Ms Tinecheff was with their children and tapped her on the shoulder.

He then phoned Ms Tinecheff repeatedly, while she was with police, then came to the house and shouted from the street.

Mr Tudori said Cousins’ custody battle over his children had sent him into depression and that he had been self-medicating with “large amounts” of methamphetamine.

He said for Cousins to “finally agree” to rehabilitation was a “huge step” and that there would be a bed available for him within the next week.

However, details of recorded telephone calls between Cousins and his father Bryan from prison were revealed in the hearing by the prosecution, who said in them the former West Coast Eagles captain declared he “can stop whenever I want”.

The prosecutor said Cousins also told his father he could “have a bit of gear and it makes me feel normal” and “I don’t want to stop”.

“He accepts he needs to change and he accepts he wants to change”

Ben Cousins’ lawyer Michael Tudori

Magistrate Stephen Wilson referred the matter to the drug court, where it will be heard on Monday.

Outside court, Mr Tudori said Cousins, who was remanded in custody, was “disappointed” there would be a further delay until he could start the “long road” to rehabilitation.

“In his mind he’s ready to start rehabilitation,” he said.

“He’s come to the realisation that if he’s going to be there for his children he needs to deal with his drug addiction.

“He obviously wants to get out and start that now.

“It’s obviously a set back another week, but he’ll be OK.”

Mr Tudori said the phone between Cousins and his father were recorded when Cousins was first taken into custody.

“Those phone calls were done in the early days … when obviously he was still craving drugs,” he said.

“He accepts he needs to change and he accepts he wants to change.”

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