- In short: AFL player Tarryn Thomas was facing a charge of threatening to distribute an intimate image, but prosecutors have now replaced it with one of using a carriage service to harass
- What’s next? The charge will be discontinued under a diversion program and Thomas will escape without a criminal record
Victoria Police have agreed to drop criminal charges against North Melbourne player Tarryn Thomas, after the midfielder agreed to make a $1,000 donation to charity.
Thomas was stood down by North after he was charged with threatening to distribute an intimate image of another person.
In the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court on Tuesday, Magistrate Julie Grainger revealed Thomas had used Instagram to threaten a woman, saying he would spread “intimate videos” showing the pair together.
The threat occurred in July 2022, and was made in the context of a relationship break-up which saw a flurry of heated messages exchanged between Thomas and the woman.
The court heard Thomas, who is also known as Tarryn Trindall, was under emotional stress at the time due to the death of his grandmother.
“The complainant believed that Mr Trindall had distributed those videos, but in fact he had not,” Magistrate Grainger said.
“What Mr Trindall is taking responsibility for today is acknowledging the nature of those Instagram messages were harassing and … inappropriate, unacceptable.”
Prosecutors agreed to drop the charge of threatening to distribute an intimate image, and replaced it with another offence of using a carriage service to harass.
However that charge will also be discontinued under a diversion program, as long as Thomas makes a $1,000 donation to the court fund within the next month.
“This matter will be diverted out of the criminal justice record. You won’t have a searchable criminal record and hopefully this will be your last appearance in court,” Magistrate Grainger said to Thomas, who was present in court.
“What I really hope for you, Mr Trindle, is that down the track you can be a mentor for young Aboriginal men who are perhaps also struggling with mental health issues.”
Thomas worked in cleaning job during club suspension
Thomas’ lawyer Sally Vardy said the 23-year-old was misusing alcohol at the time he sent the threatening message to the woman.
She said since the incident he had “done everything possible to engage in specific offending programs”, including those that focused on behavioural change and social media usage.
Ms Vardy said Thomas had worked a cleaning job with an Aboriginal start-up company, but was now back with his AFL club.
Thomas was stood down by North Melbourne after the charges were laid and multiple women reportedly came forward with allegations against the player.
He was reinstated to the playing group in May, featuring in North’s VFL side before turning out for the AFL team the following month.
North selected the 23-year-old with pick eight in the 2018 national draft, and he has since played more than 60 games for the club.