Former Newcastle Knight Owen Craigie poses for a photograph during Old Boys' Day celebrations in September 2017. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP
Former Newcastle Knight Owen Craigie poses for a photograph during Old Boys' Day celebrations in September 2017. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP

Former NRL star sentenced for breaching AVO

HE SAID he knew it would probably break the apprehended violence order, but he did it anyway.

Former Newcastle Knight Owen Craigie, 41, sent a barrage of text messages and calls to his ex-partner during a 10-day period in December last year

"I know this will probably break the AVO. Your mum is not communication (sic) with me. I'm not sure what to do ok. I have money for beds and (sic) xmas for kids," he wrote in one of three messages on December 8, according to police facts.

He also wrote "miss you" and "can I talk to the kids please, miss them please".

Two days later, Craigie tried to talk to his ex-partner in her vehicle, tapping on the window before she drove off. Police facts stated she was scared and shaking.

The stream of text messages continued for days - still with no response - before Craigie turned up at her home on two occasions. His partner hid in the bedroom, too afraid to move or open the door.

That same day she received three phone calls and 29 more text messages from Craigie.

He was arrested days later after she reported it to police.

Craigie - who was a member of the 1997 Knights premiership-winning team - appeared visibly upset as the magistrate lectured him over breaching his apprehended violence order on numerous occasions.

In court on Thursday, he pleaded guilty to nine AVO breaches that occurred in December last year, against his ex-partner, whom he had been married to for eight years before they separated in November 2018.

"It's not quite as one-sided as the text messages appear," Craigie's solicitor, Kristy Wade, told the court.

"He has now changed his number."

She handed up references to magistrate David Price detailing her client's sporting and community involvement.

"His career and community achievement is impressive in any standard," she said.

Magistrate Price agreed Craigie was a well-regarded member of the community, particularly in the indigenous community, but warned him against breaching a court order.

"They are not there to be massaged around your circumstances," he said.

He was then sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order.

Craigie made his NRL debut for the Knights in 1995 against the Brisbane Broncos and moved onto the West Tigers in 2000 before a two-year stint at the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

He still remains involved with the Knights as an Old Boy and works as disability engagement officer.



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