A lovestruck stablehand bombarded a strapper with texts, phone calls and emails before king-hitting her in the mounting yard on Oaks Day last year, a Melbourne court has heard.
Police allege Ricky Dight, 32, became obsessed with Leah Gavranich after a three-month fling while working with her in NSW in 2011.
He is accused of eventually punching her in the head during last year’s spring racing carnival at Flemington. Dight was arrested in South Australia on Monday and appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.
Police allege he began harassing Ms Gavranich several months before the assault in November 2013, often approaching her at work and asking her out for while also bombarding her with texts and calls.
Sometimes Dight would wait outside Ms Gavranich’s Melbourne residence and email her to say he was there, the court heard.
The king-hit on Oaks Day took place after Dight entered the mounting yard and asked Ms Gavranich out for dinner, the court heard.
He allegedly hit her when she walked away, later telling police he was still in love with her and went to the track to seek closure but ‘‘just snapped’’, the court heard.
Mr Dight did not enter any formal plea on Friday. Legal Aid solicitor Sarah Westwood said he was ‘‘immensely remorseful’’ and would plead guilty to some of the charges, but there was some issue about the nature of an assault charge.
The case was adjourned until Monday with Dight remanded in custody.