A rugby league player has avoided conviction after he headbutted and punched a rival who allegedly posted intimate images of his sister online.
Jesse Marschke appeared in Waverley Local Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to assaulting Western Sydney Magpies player Aden Perry and causing him actual bodily harm.
The court was told the two NSW Cup players saw each other at the Beach Road Hotel in Bondi on the evening of July 15.
Marschke approached Perry, who had dated his sister Sarah for more than three years.
The court was told the couple had broken up after Perry allegedly shared intimate images of the former Miss Australia on social media. He has not been charged over the alleged distribution.
Her brother was thinking of her pain when he approached the Magpies prop and asked him to step outside about 10pm, the court was told.
Perry refused and Marschke appeared to walk away before turning back and lunging at his sister’s ex.
The Bears player headbutted his competitor and unleashed a barrage of punches on him before he was pulled off by security guards.
The court was told Perry sustained a cut on his lip and a cut to his temple.
Marschke admitted to police that “things got out of hand”.
His lawyer Andrew Stewart told the court that his client had “sincerest remorse” for the “spur of the moment” beat down.
“The way he behaved is unacceptable. He accepts that,” he said.
“His emotions got the better of him”.
Marschke was a longtime rugby league player who served as a “role model” to many in the sporting community, his lawyer explained.
In a letter to the court, the qualified builder admitted he “took the law into his own hands” and recognised he should have instead de-escalated the situation.
The court was told managers at the North Sydney Bears club praised him as a “calm, responsible and reliable person” and classified the assault as “extremely uncharacteristic”.
“His teammates and the management of the club hold him in the highest regard,” a character reference read.
Magistrate Ross Hudson remarked that Marschke had not tried to minimise or justify the assault by explaining the context of the victim’s alleged sharing of intimate images online.
He said Marschke had reacted to “a very upsetting foundation” of a “perceived injustice done against his sister”.
“While violence of this nature in many respects cannot be tolerated, (this is) effectively an extenuating circumstance,” the magistrate said.
“In this very rare case, this is an opportunity where the court can extend its leniency.”
The court was told the aspiring NRL player had no previous history of violence and had promised not to offend again.
Mr Hudson handed Marschke a two-year bond without proceeding to conviction, which means the offence will not go on his permanent record.
“This is absolutely a one-off opportunity,” the magistrate warned.
“The leniency that’s been extended to you today will never be extended to you again.”
The court was told Marschke was unable to approach Perry within 24 hours of drinking as part of a continuing apprehended violence order.
The court was told any breaches or criminal charges could result in the rugby league player facing jail time.
He was supported in court by his father and his sister, who cut a glamorous figure in a silky blue pant suit.
Ms Marschke famously had her legs insured for $1 million while reigning as Miss Australia from 2019 to 2021.
Her famous pins graced the small screen earlier this year when she appeared on Survivor Australia.