Elias beats bet­ting ban

Lawyer tells court: Not hav­ing a punt is just plain un-Aus­tralian

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

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

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