Drunk cricketer assaults woman

BORDER cricket identity Michael Spiteri was yesterday fined $1100 and put on a two-year bond over the indecent assault of a woman on AFL grand final day last year.

A court heard how Spiteri made sexual advances, which were rejected, and then borrowed $300 from the woman who later broke down when telling a friend about it.

Solicitor Travis Johnson said in Albury Local Court that Spiteri had too much to drink.

But magistrate Megan Greenwood said she believed Spiteri had an underlying attitude problem towards women.

She ordered Spiteri to have counselling for that and alcohol abuse as part of his supervision by the NSW Probation and Parole Service.

Spiteri, 41, of Tara Avenue, Albury, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with an act of indecency.

The court heard Spiteri contacted the woman about 3pm on September 29 and asked for a lift from the Astor Hotel in Young Street.

He sat in the passenger seat of the woman’s vehicle, pulled her close to him and was told to stop.

It was indicated by Spiteri that he wanted to have sex, but the woman declined his advances.

When that happened, he asked to borrow some money from her and she agreed to attend an ATM.

Spiteri put his hand on her left leg, began rubbing her inner thigh and moved his hand towards her vagina, but the woman told him not to touch her.

She withdrew $300 on the understanding she would be repaid the next week and the only way to get Spiteri out of the car was to allow him to kiss her cheek.

Spiteri, a former cricket coach with the Belvoir club, went to the Albury police station on October 24, was interviewed, admitted he was heavily intoxicated at the time and could not fully remember what happened.

Mr Johnson said Spiteri ran out of money on grand final day.

Since the incident, he had tried to contact the woman to repay her, but she had not responded to his phone calls or emails.

Mr Johnson said Spiteri knew this behaviour was unacceptable and had been having alcohol counselling.

Ms Greenwood said Spiteri worked in a respons-ible position and had community involvement.

“You were highly intoxicated that day. That is no excuse,” Ms Greenwood said.

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