A MAGISTRATE landed a harsh but fair blow on fallen NRL great Ben Barba telling him "everything's gone to hell for you because of your stupidity".

The 31 year old, once considered one of the best rugby league players in the world, again stood in Mackay Magistrates Court dock to be sentenced over drunken violent behaviour.

"How do you feel about all this playing out in your life?" Magistrate James Morton asked.

"Not good, your honour," Barba said.

"Do you feel like you've gone from the penthouse to the shithouse … in a stroke of a pen, blink of an eye?" Mr Morton asked.

Ben Barba with his solicitor Campbell MacCallum arrive at Mackay Magistrates Court. Picture: Janessa Ekert
Ben Barba with his solicitor Campbell MacCallum arrive at Mackay Magistrates Court. Picture: Janessa Ekert Janessa Ekert

When Barba said "yes", Mr Morton added, "That's your doing though."

"Yes, definitely," Barba said.

The Dally M Medallist punched his brother-in-law in the face following an argument during which Barba claimed Adrian Currie called him a "woman basher".

"Frankly if after being a professional footballer Mr Barba you react to such a phrase directed at you in such a way, then it is not difficult to see why you are no longer at the professional level that you were once at," Mr Morton said, adding Barba was lucky Mr Currie was not seriously hurt.

"All the negative attention … has been brought by you at your own doing, no one else is to blame."

Following a public nuisance incident in January last year involving his wife, the Cowboys sacked Barba not long after he signed a $400,000 a year contract.

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"Your fall from grace can only be described as the path you've chosen in your life - your professional career has suffered and that is what is to be expected in today's professional football industry," Mr Morton said.

"It may be that the community had long forgotten what you may have done on the football field and only identify or remember you for your misconduct that you have committed off the football field."

Yesterday Barba pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm, breaching bail when he entered the Mackay Safe Night Precinct while banned and failing to complete a community service order.

"It seems your attitude to a court order mirrors your attitude off the field, poor," Mr Morton said.

Ben Barba at at BB Print Stadium on Wednesday November 7 after the announcement that Mackay will host a trial game between the Cowboys and Melbourne Storm in 2019.
Ben Barba at at BB Print Stadium on Wednesday November 7 after the announcement that Mackay will host a trial game between the Cowboys and Melbourne Storm in 2019. Emma Murray

"Now I accept you had a hard run in your upbringing, you're not the first one, you're not the last one. Everybody has a hard run at some stage in their life, but they put it behind them

"You had everything given to you and you threw it away."

Yesterday Mr Morton revoked Barba's bail and sent him to the watch-house for the night so he could contemplate an appropriate penalty.

"This is a shot across the bow to you sir, did you enjoy your night in the watch-house?" Mr Morton asked.

Barba: "No, your honour."

"I was considering jailing you, but I had to reconsider all the material that was put before me and I wanted to make sure that a just sentence that the community expects through the court is dished out," Mr Morton said.

"I have no doubt that you've got the opportunity to turn your life around."

RELATED: Shock new footage in Ben Barba case

Mr Morton told Barba he was "going to have to bear the cross" of his own actions for some time.

"This time now is for you to grow up, you're 31, you're not a kid," Mr Morton said.

"You've blown every chance that's been afforded to you."

But Barba has been offered a lifeline to salvage his destroyed rugby league career with the Valencia Huracanes in Spain.

The court heard he had been offered a contract and was waiting for this case to finalise before signing.

With this in mind Mr Morton gave Barba a second chance and did not record convictions. Barba was fined $2300 and ordered to pay $1000 compensation to Mr Currie.

 

EARLIER: A MAGISTRATE asked Ben Barba if he felt like had "gone from the penthouse to the s***house" after spending a night in custody.

The 31 year old fallen NRL star has avoided any convictions being recorded for the third time, but Magistrate James Morton said any court in the future would be "hard pressed" to offer the same benefit.

This means Barba will be able to sign a contract with the Valencia Huracanes in Spain and potentially revive his professional football career from early next year.

A former role model, Barba's fall from grace landed him back in Mackay Magistrates Court this year for assaulting his brother in law Adrian Currie at McGuires pub on February 22 and breaching bail in July.

He also pleaded guilty to breaching a community service order handed down last year over a public nuisance incident involving his wife on the Australia Day long weekend.

"All the negative attention has been brought by you at your own doing," Mr Morton said.

Barba was fined $2300 and ordered to pay $1000 compensation.

More to come.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. 


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