Elias beats betting ban
Lawyer tells court: Not having a punt is just plain un-Australian
RUGBY league identity John Elias was relieved on two fronts yesterday. He’s back out on bail and he can have a bet at a TAB.
Elias had appeared in Bankstown Local Court charged with breaching his bail conditions and using a mobile phone to harass, menace or cause offence.
He was released on new bail conditions, including he make no contact with Tabcorp media manager Glenn Munsie and he stay away from the betting agency’s head office.
But the former first grade player appeared most concerned about whether the ban extended to the TAB branches he uses to place bets.
‘‘ How do you have a bet?’’ he asked Magistrate Jacqueline Trad. His lawyer John Galluzzo went further. ‘‘ It would be un-Australian ( to stop him visiting the TAB),’’ Galluzzo told the court. Police did not oppose bail and the court was told Munsie had no issue with Elias using the TAB’s branches. The next chapter in the controversial figure’s life unfolded as he led the media on a wild chase through the backstreets of the southwestern Sydney suburb. After slipping out a side door at the court house, he disappeared into the back of a local business premises.
Munsie, his household and Tabcorp’s HQ were added to a list of people and places Elias needs to avoid as part of his bail conditions.
The others are racing writer John Schell, Parramatta player Brad Murray and the Canterbury and Parramatta leagues clubs.
Elias, who has already been charged with attempting to defraud a betting agency after i nvestigations i nto t he i nfamous North Queensland-Canterbury NRL game last August, was hit with three more charges on Wednesday.
The 48-year-old spent the night locked up on a count of breaching his bail conditions, and was also charged with two counts of using a mobile phone to harass, menace or cause offence.
The new offences relate to alleged threatening text messages sent to Munsie, one reportedly calling the Tabcorp employee a ‘‘ maggot’’.
Munsie has reportedly provided information to investigators about suspicious betting on the first points option in the Cowboys-Bulldogs match.
The former Canterbury, South Sydney, Wests, Easts and Balmain player was charged on March 3, along with player manager Sam Ayoub, with the alleged betting agency fraud offence. Police believe Elias would have made $ 98,455 from the alleged scam.
FREED ON BAIL: John Elias will front court again on April 7