Former Gippsland Power coach Nick Stevens has appealed against a jail term imposed for bashing his girlfriend and been granted bail to be freed from custody.
Stevens, 35, was on Wednesday morning jailed for eight months after being found guilty in January in Ringwood Magistrates Court of assaulting his then girlfriend in 2012 and 2013, threatening to kill her and threatening to kill her father.
But after spending less than two hours in custody, the former Port Adelaide and Carlton star returned to court – minus his jacket, tie and belt – so his lawyers could confirm they had lodged an appeal.
Stevens was soon after granted bail by magistrate Nunzio La Rosa. He is due to front the County Court on April 15.
Defence counsel Serge Petrovich told Mr La Rosa appeals had been lodged against conviction and sentence for the charges related to the assaults and threats to kill.
Mr Petrovich said an appeal had also been lodged against the sentence imposed for Stevens’ breach of an intervention order.
Stevens was ordered to perform 90 hours of volunteer work under a community corrections order imposed for the breach of the intervention order. Stevens pleaded guilty to that charge earlier this month.
Mr La Rosa granted appeal bail despite the opposition of prosecuting police, as Stevens had previously complied with his bail requirements.
Earlier on Wednessay, the former Carlton vice-captain showed little emotion when Mr La Rosa imposed the jail term.
Stevens, who played 231 games for Port Adelaide and Carlton, was in January found guilty of five counts of assault, two charges of intentionally causing injury, three of making threats to kill and single counts of threatening serious injury and criminal damage.
The charges related to incidents in 2012 and 2013 against his girlfriend of the time, including one instance on April 27, 2013 when he pushed the woman’s head into a brick wall.
On another occasion, when Stevens rammed her head into a kitchen bench in their home in February 2013, she suffered a cut to her cheek, which left a permanent scar.
La Rosa said examples of violence against women were “to be condemned in the strictest of terms” and that general deterrence was a significant factor in sentencing.
He said he did not accept submissions that Stevens had more to lose given his high profile in imposing a jail term, given the former footballer’s coaching aspirations were now over.
Stevens was sacked as coach of South Australian side Glenelg on the day he was found guilty.
Stevens earlier this month pleaded guilty to breaching a court- imposed intervention order in that he had sent about 2500 text messages to the woman between June and August 2013.
Some of the messages threatened to seriously injure her and others, Mr La Rosa said, manipulating her “psychologically and emotionally”.
Stevens also threatened the woman in telephone calls during this period, the magistrate said.
Stevens was also fined $400 for destroying the woman’s mobile phone.