Personal trainer to the star jailed for domestic violence
A personal trainer to some of Sydney's brightest stars has been led from a court room in handcuffs after being jailed for the "controlling and humiliating" abuse of his former partner.
Wayne Robert Geber, a fitness mentor to the likes of cricketer David Warner and 9 News' Peter Overton, was on Wednesday sentenced at least six months in prison for his 18-month reign of physical and verbal terror.
But the Bondi Beach man still walked free from the Downing Centre after lodging a severity appeal and being granted bail by the same magistrate who had just sent him to jail.
Geber, 48, was convicted of five charges - three of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two of assault - after the series of domestic attacks on Helenna Haddad between August 2014 and February 2016.
He sat quietly in court wearing a blue suit as Magistrate Joan Baptie ruled the offending was not just "abhorrent" but an ongoing "code of conduct".
"His behaviour displays controlling, intimidating and unacceptable behaviour," she said.
Geber had been labelled a "top bloke" by Mr Overton in a testimonial on the website for his business WG Fitness, where Warner states he "always" makes time for a session with Geber when in Sydney.
But the eastern suburbs coach's dark side was exposed in court following his arrest in August 2019, which heard he once punched his partner in the face when she was five months pregnant with his child.
"Shut up or I'll smash you in the face!" he yelled before unleashing the blow during an argument.
Ms Haddad was once left with a perfused eardrum after Geber clapped her across the head with his hand after she tried to prevent him from going to yoga one morning in October 2014.
On another occasion in August 2015 he put Ms Haddad in a headlock and repeatedly spat on her after an argument.
"Every time you raise your voice I will spit on you," he told her. "Pack your shit and f*&k off."
In February 2016, Geber became angry and shoved Ms Haddad into a mirror, leaving her bruised and scratched.
Geber's lawyer David Carroll argued in court that the violence was "contextual" of a "toxic" relationship of four years.
Mr Carroll said the "totally disproportionate responses" of Geber to household arguments came in a "constant state of stress", and he was now deeply remorseful for his actions.
"One thing that is consistent throughout is his remorse for his behaviour and his (desire for) his continued improvement," Mr Carroll said.
Magistrate Baptie ruled Geber should not serve his sentence in a community "exasperated" with domestic violence and imposed a 12-month sentence with 6-months non-parole.
Following his sentence Geber launched an immediate appeal and was released on bail ahead of the District Court hearing on July 21.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Dave Warner's former personal trainer sentenced to jail