Disgraced NRL star's lawyer challenges allegations
THE court case against disgraced NRL star Ben Barba will be sent back to Townsville after his lawyer challenged some of the allegations.
The former high profile player was charged with two counts of being a public nuisance in or near a licensed premises over an incident involving his partner Ainslie Currie at Townsville Casino on the Australia Day weekend.
Police allege he threw rocks at Ms Currie, the mother of their four children. She declined to make a complaint.
The matter had been moved to Mackay, where Barba now lives and works, after his lawyer Campbell MacCallum indicated to the court that he would plead guilty and finalise the case.
However, during a brief mention this morning, Mackay Magistrates Court heard the case would have to go back to Townsville.
Senior prosecutor Sheena Gravino said she had received a submission from Mr MacCallum late Friday.
"In that submission it requested an amendment to the facts (for it) to proceed to sentence," Mrs Gravino said.
"It is not appropriate for my office to have a look at those facts... being that it's referencing CCTV footage."
Ms Gravino said the case had been transferred to Mackay for a plea.
"It doesn't appear that's it's in a position to proceed by way of a plea," Mrs Gravino said.
The Cowboys had thrown the former Dally M Player of the Year an NRL lifeline after was sacked by the Cronulla Sharks following their 2016 premiership win.
But Barba's $300,000-a-year contract was torn up and he was deregistered by the NRL after the incident.
Magistrate Mark Nolan agreed the case would have to go back to Townsville, which wasn't challenged by solicitor Catherine Luck who was acting as Town Agent in the matter.
Barba did not front court today and his appearance was excused.
"Given that the CCTV footage will be required perhaps a period of about three weeks," Mrs Gravino said.
"Townsville has been made aware as had the charging officer."
The case was listed for May 7.
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES