The true colours of Fremantle Docker Jeff Farmer have shone through in another nightclub bashing incident. This time, the club took swift and appropriate action in suspending the troubled footballer. While it's too soon to tell if this signals a genuine turn-around, it will at least help deliver justice for Farmer's alleged victim.
The allegations are yet to be tested in court, but the recurring themes are arrogance, violence, drunkenness and demands for special treatment:
WA police will allege Farmer was approached by a security officer at the [Paramount] club around 11.30pm on Saturday night, after trying to enter the nightclub through an exit door.
Farmer allegedly became aggressive and, as he was removed, attempted to punch the bouncer over some security barriers.
The former Melbourne Demon is then said to have returned, entering the club through the exit door and after being accosted by the security guard who had originally evicted him, punched him in the face.
Several security guards had to restrain Farmer as police were called, who arrested him and laid a charge of common assault.
He was bailed, and will appear in the Perth Magistrate's Court on Thursday. (The Age, 29/4/2007)
It's worth pointing out that Farmer has a history of losing his temper and his inability to control himself has seen him in trouble before:
- He's currently four weeks into a six game suspension due to eye-gouging. (He's been before the AFL Tribunal on a number of occasions for violence.)
- After initially pleading not guilty, he finally admitted his guilt in repeatedly striking his girlfriend in Osborne Park in 2004 and received a measly $2,000 fine.
- There was another incident in a Perth nightclub, Club Bayview in Claremont, just last December. This was reported as involving a WAFL player being knocked to the ground, but police weren't involved.
Whether it was a genuine desire to punish or a self-serving keenness to put some distance between the club and That Other WA Team, the Fremantle Dockers leadership quickly fined Farmer $5,000 and - most importantly - suspended him until at least Round 13. This is the right decision, but sadly, we've been burnt by previous displays of sound judgement.
With this nasty footballer already suspended, it will take pressure off the magistrate on Thursday who may otherwise have been torn by club loyalties or footy tipping. This should give some heart to the assault victim, his family and other Perth bouncers that justice will prevail.
Let's hope that this serves as a model to other clubs in dealing with their violent miscreants.
Jeff Farmer had his day in court, pleading guilty to assault causing bodily harm and copping a $3,000 fine. Goes to show that sometimes even high-profile super-star footballers can feel the sting of justice for their drunken violence:
FREMANTLE AFL forward Jeff Farmer has been fined $3,000 after pleading guilty to punching a security guard at a Perth nightclub.
Farmer, 29, pleaded guilty in Perth Magistrates Court today to common assault over an incident in inner-city Northbridge on Saturday night.
The court fined him $3,000 for the assault. (Herald-Sun, 3/5/2007)
With any luck, that's his footy career finished; one more thug brought down by his own stupid violence would serve as a potent warning to the next generation of footballers.
It seems that the club-imposed exile of Jeff Farmer may lapse a little earlier than promised. BigFooty is rife with rumours (sourced to Radio Station SEN) that Farmer will be back before Round 13. If true, this is very disappointing form from Freo.
Thankfully, his criminal sanctions won't be relaxed so readily.
Good ol' Jeff Farmer is back in front of the beak. This time, he allegedly damaged a car in the car park at the Perth's Burswood Casino. He's facing criminal damage charges as a result of the "late night incident" last Wednesday. He's also broken team rules by getting on the piss during rehab and not mentioning the whole drunk/incident/police/charges thing to his club.
Both the Perth Magistrates Court and the Fremantle Dockers are scheduled to excuse him some time in the next couple of days. He's preparing the ground by admitting "an alcohol problem". There's still another news cycle to go, so expect stories about his tireless volunteer work with wayward puppies despite a tragic upbringing.