Man accused of stalking Leigh Matthews - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Man accused of stalking Leigh Matthews

By Michelle Draper 12/03/2009 07:53:37 PM Comments (0)

A Melbourne man who once had a brief relationship with the daughter of former AFL player and coach Leigh Matthews has been accused of stalking and threatening to kill members of the football great's family.

Anthony Boccari, 44, allegedly approached Mr Matthews as he coached a Brisbane training session in 2006 in an attempt to regain contact with Tracey Matthews, whom he went out with about 14 years ago.

Boccari, who said he is in the music industry, said he had a record deal for Tracey to sign, the Melbourne Magistrates Court was told on Thursday.

Detective Sergeant Michael Coughlan told the bail application hearing that Mr Matthews refused to hand over his daughter's details, but Boccari allegedly turned up on the doorstep of Ms Matthews' family home in Canberra the same year.

He then proceeded to shower her with letters and flowers after she asked him never to contact her again.

Two years later, Boccari began harassing Mr Matthews with unwanted text messages, Det Sgt Coughlan told the hearing.

Boccari allegedly sent more than 180 "annoying" text messages to Mr Matthews while he also sent two death threats via text message to Ms Matthews' brother-in-law Neill Hassell in 2008, Det Sgt Coughlan said.

Boccari was arrested and charged in September last year but breached his conditions of bail and was ordered to reappear before the court on Thursday.

He is now behind bars after Magistrate Peter Reardon refused his application for bail on the basis he was an unacceptable risk of reoffending.

Boccari's lawyer Karl Brandon told the hearing a psychiatrist had found his client suffered a "delusional disorder of a grandiose type".

Boccari, who gave evidence at his bail application, described himself as a hairdresser and songwriter whose musical talents had been encouraged by the likes of industry stalwart Molly Meldrum.

Det Sgt Coughlan told the hearing that during his last court appearance Boccari burst into a refrain of Up There Cazaly.

He said Boccari blamed Mr Matthews for everything that went wrong in his life.

"The offender blames Leigh Matthews for him not winning an ARIA award, the break-up of a relationship, anything that has not gone right in his life, Leigh Matthews is responsible for it," Det Sgt Coughlan said.

Mr Reardon called for a further psychiatric report and remanded Boccari in custody until a further hearing on March 25.

Mr Matthews resigned as Brisbane coach last year after 10 years in the post during which the club won three AFL premierships.

He played 332 games for Hawthorn from 1969 to 1985 and has been rated by many pundits as the greatest player of all time.

He coached Collingwood from 1986 until 1995, including the 1990 premiership.

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