Former Carlton player Tom Williamson’s mid-year exit from the club in 2022 came amid a criminal investigation into his behaviour, reports the Herald Sun.
The 44-gamer pleaded guilty in Melbourne Magistrates Court last week to a series of charges including stalking a woman with the intention of causing her harm or fear.
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The incidents came around the time of his departure from the Blues in July 2022.
He had previously taken a leave of absence to deal with personal issues in June before it was “mutually decided that Williamson will step away from AFL football for 2022 and depart the football club”.
But charge sheets allege Williamson stalked the woman between July and October 2022, including stalking a woman by calling and messaging her from fresh TikTok and Instagram accounts after she had “requested she be left alone and continued to block each (Williamson) account”.
One charge said Williamson called the victim 13 times and texted her twice over a 10-day period.
He escaped conviction as Magistrate Cecily Hollingsworth said Williamson had made genuine attempts to better himself, including taking part in a three-month men’s behavioural change program and counselling.
“This is very serious offending and you lost your football career as a result of that,” Ms Hollingsworth said.
“You are lucky. You’ve got a lot of support around you with friends and family and to your credit, you have undertaken counselling and a men’s behavioural change program.”
He was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond and ordered to donate $2000 to the court’s charity fund.
The 24-year-old now works in maintenance at Ararat medium-security prison Hopkins Correctional Centre.
“You are in a unique position where you know what prison life is like. You’d be looking down the barrel of going to jail (if you reoffend),” Hollingsworth said.
Originally published as Former Carlton defender Tom Williamson’s sacking explained in stalking plea