Footballer's assault was a ‘cuddle’
Former AFL player Matthew Shir missed emails sent by Steve Jacobs' ex-wife Rosie threatening him with an AVO before he climbed into her unit and slipped into bed, a magistrate has found.
Shirt, 39, has escaped conviction for assaulting Rosie Jacobs when he drunkenly scaled a fence to enter her second-floor apartment through the balcony before repeatedly attempting to cuddle her on January 10.
It came as the couple's on-again-off-again relationship was "clearly disintegrating", Magistrate Michael Allen said on Thursday.
He found Shir had imparted "no actual violence" on Ms Jacobs, 41, the ex of former Today Show weatherman Mr Jacobs.
The one-time Adelaide Crow had pleaded guilty to common assault and recklessly damaging property, related to a security screen he had stepped on while climbing to the balcony.
Shir went to Ms Jacobs' Bronte home about 11.30pm after a night drinking with work friends and decided to try a different entry when he was unable to go through the front door due to a chain lock.
After unrequitedly banging on the balcony's sliding doors he entered the unit, took his shirt off and got into bed with his then ex-partner who earlier that day sent him an email demanding he return his key and saying: "you do not have permission to contact me".
"It's over, you're not welcome. I want you to leave immediately," she said as he tried to pull her toward him and put his arms around her torso.
"You're not allowed to touch me."
Later after he followed her into the kitchen, Shir said: "I just want to be in bed with you … I'll leave tomorrow I swear".
He left when a neighbour was called to Ms Jacobs' aid and she dialled triple-0. Shir was arrested at his home in Bondi about 2.30am.
Ms Jacobs had been home alone in bed at the time, which Mr Allen found to be a "not insignificant" aggravating factor in Shir's actions.
Prosecutor Laura Crase argued at hearing this month Shir went to the apartment to confront his ex over the 6.41pm email, and a second one sent on minute later informing him that she needed his key to give to her new flame Dylan Nash.
But Mr Allen said there was no evidence to contradict the business development manager's claim that he had not seen the emails, or that Shir held genuine concerns for Ms Jacobs' welfare as their relationship crumbled.
He noted that it was "not unusual" for the ex-footy player to use the balcony to get in, according to past instances included in the agreed facts.
The magistrate found the offences to be of a "low level" and decided not to convict Shir: "His conduct was described as cuddling and endeavouring to cuddle".
He handed Shir conditional release orders of two years for the assault, and 12 months for the property damage offence respectively.
The couple had been in a relationship since around September 2018, and lived together in Ms Jacobs' unit, which Downing Centre Local Court heard he was a guarantor of after they took out a joint loan together.
But the court heard Shir moved out when their bond began to sour in mid 2019, with Ms Jacobs claiming to police he at times used "abusive" language toward her.
A two year apprehended domestic violence order was issued by the court, with the only contact allowed between the two parties was to be in relation to their joint mortgage.*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Steve Jacobs ex-wife assault was a 'cuddle'