Ben Cousins says he is ready to go to rehab after spending a month behind bars but has told his father that he has no desire to stop taking drugs, a Perth court was told yesterday.
The fallen former AFL star was sporting a beard and T-shirt when he pleaded guilty to 11 charges in Armadale Magistrate’s Court, including the aggravated stalking of former partner Maylea Tinecheff, breaches of a violence restraining order and possessing 8g of methamphetamine.
Cousins’ lawyer Michael Tudori told the court that a position had become available in a residential rehabilitation program, which would be available next week.
Mr Tudori said Cousins had accepted that he “needs to change” and that he had made a “huge step” by agreeing to undergo full-time rehab for at least six months.
The police prosecutor argued that Cousins should be sentenced to an immediate term behind bars.
He told the court that the 38-year-old had declared he “can stop whenever I want” in recorded phone conversations with his father from prison less than two weeks ago.
The court was told that Cousins went on to say, “I have a bit of gear and it makes me feel normal” and “I don’t want to stop”.
When asked how long rehab would take in another conversation between Cousins and a person referred to as “Butler” on March 13 , Cousins said: “I’m not doing some long f……. thing, I’ll do a month.”
The prosecutor said the conversations showed Cousins would “say what he feels he needs to say to get out of prison”.
Outside court, Mr Tudori said the phone calls were made soon after Cousins was taken into custody and did not reflect his views now.
“Anybody who has a drug addiction, it takes a while before they start to come off drugs and realise that, ‘I can do without drugs’,” he said.
“Those phone calls were done in the early days when, obviously, he was still craving drugs.”
Mr Tudori said Cousins, who was remanded in custody for another seven days after his case was referred to the drug court, was disappointed there would be a further delay to his admission to rehab.
“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 road to rehabilitation now. It’s obviously a set back, another week, but he’ll be OK.”
Mr Tudori said Cousins was in a “much better place” after his latest stint behind bars.
The former West Coast Eagles captain has been in custody since his arrest on February 23 after he repeatedly breached a restraining order.