Former Sydney Swans footballer Elijah Taylor has been fined $5,000 and spared jail this week, being issued a spent conviction following an assault on his ex-girlfriend in a Perth hotel.
During the incident, which occurred in September, the 19-year-old reportedly struck Lekahni Pearce with a belt and punched her in the back of the head.
Perth Magistrates Court was told on Wednesday the assault started after Pearce saw a Snapchat message on Taylor's phone and started hitting him while he was asleep.
Police facts reveal Taylor responded by punching Pearce in the jaw and hitting her several times in the face.
His lawyer, Seamus Rafferty, said Taylor had experienced “frustration, sadness and sense of powerlessness” after being suspended by the Sydney Swans, which had resulted in a "loss of self-control."
“He was not the person who started the aggressive behaviour,” Rafferty said. “Basically, he lost his self-control.”
The magistrate, Deen Potter, granted the request for a spent conviction and handed Taylor a $5,000 fine.
“Clearly you have character of some strength, so hopefully this incident on the 13th of September will not define who you are,” he said.
Taylor has since been stood down by the Swans, a decision that was backed by the AFL.