Former Melbourne half-forward Liam Jurrah has reportedly been held in custody in Alice Springs overnight after a series of alleged assaults.
If charged, he will face an Alice Springs court later today.
Jurrah, 24, was due to appear in a Elisabeth magistrates court in South Australia this morning to face an aggravated assault charge, but he failed to appear. Jurrah’s lawyer Joanna Caracoussis told the court that he was staying in the Northern Territory for the delayed funeral of his grandfather, who passed away last year.
However, the charge is to be dropped.
Jurrah’s bail required him to attend the on Thursday on a charge of aggravated assault in Adelaide in January.
Ms Caracoussis said the funeral was postponed on the day last week when a NT Supreme Court jury acquitted Jurrah.
The new date has not been set, she added.
Magistrate David McLeod said Jurrah was probably taking the indulgence of the court in assuming that "by simply referring to the fact he is attending an Aboriginal funeral that that somehow gives him a free kick".
"It is not up to defendants to determine whether they attend court or not," he said.
"It is up to them to follow the law."
Mr McLeod said he could understand the necessity of attending a funeral if it was imminent, but if no date had been set "it seems somewhat unsatisfactory".
The police prosecutor said the alleged victim had signed a form saying she did not wish to proceed with the aggravated assault charge.
The magistrate said if the prosecutor had said the assault matter was proceeding, he would have issued a warrant for Jurrah’s arrest.
Instead, he issued a warrant which is to lie on the file until his next appearance date on May 2. He directed Ms Caracoussis to provide the court, within the next 48 hours, with evidence corroborating the statement that Jurrah was attending a funeral and to give the date of the funeral.
If that did not occur, he gave the prosecution leave to bring the matter back to court.On Tuesday, Jurrah failed to appear in the same court on a drink-driving charge. Another magistrate issued a warrant, but it will only be activated if Jurrah fails to turn up at Elizabeth Magistrates Court on April 2.
Jurrah had hopes of resuming his football career after being cleared, and planned to play in the Central Australian league.
Jurrah had lived in Adelaide since being delisted by Melbourne last year, where he also faces a separate charge of drink driving.
Jurrah was Melbourne's leading goalkicker in 2011 and won the award for the AFL's mark of the year in 2010.
Jurrah spoke no English when he first left his desert homeland, and his elevation to the Demons' senior team was hailed at the time as one of the AFL's greatest stories.
- with AAP