Brett Dallas (right) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a try during a 1997 Norths v Manly ARL game.
Brett Dallas (right) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a try during a 1997 Norths v Manly ARL game.

Fallen NRL hero’s last chance to dodge jail

A FORMER NRL hero turned petty thief is at risk of jail if he does not seek counselling, in another tragic twist to his fall from grace.

At the height of his career Mackay's Brett Dallas, considered one of the fastest men in league, was on a seven-figure contract.

Sadly those days are a distant memory for the 45 year old, who fronted Mackay Magistrates Court for his 10th stealing offence in less than 12 months.

 

Former rugby league footballer Brett Dallas after leaving Mackay courthouse in March 2019.
Former rugby league footballer Brett Dallas after leaving Mackay courthouse in March 2019.

"Enough is enough, it's time," Magistrate Damien Dwyer told him.

"The last thing this community or anybody wants is for you to go to prison."

Dallas pleaded guilty to three charges, including stealing a $690 coffee table from Nick Scali on November 28.

The court heard he walked into the store about 6.40pm, picked up the table from a display and walked out. He told police he stole the table for cash.

Legal Aid Queensland solicitor Rosie Varley suggested probation or community service, but Mr Dwyer said no.

"I'm looking at prison," he said.

"Unless you can show me that the community is safe. This is your 10th (stealing offence) in less than 12 months.

"Whatever the difficulty is you've got to sort it now."

Brett Dallas (with the ball) during the third 1995 State of Origin game between New South Wales and Queensland at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Brett Dallas (with the ball) during the third 1995 State of Origin game between New South Wales and Queensland at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Dallas is best remembered for a 90-metre runaway try in 1995 that helped secure Queensland's Origin series win. After playing seven seasons with the English Super League he retired in 2007.

Ms Varley told the court Dallas was a single father of three and for more than 12 months he had been receiving Centerlink's disability pension.

He had no contact with his eldest children and some contact with his youngest, a nine-month-old son, she said.

He was not receiving counselling but told the court he was prepared to go.

Brett Dallas leaves Mackay Court House in July 2019.
Brett Dallas leaves Mackay Court House in July 2019.

"Now I'm seriously looking at imprisonment," Mr Dwyer said, but told Dallas he would adjourn the case so he could make an appointment with Lives Lived Well.

"You can avoid it by going to these people, bring me back a report … on what's going to happen.

"I want you to be clear that whether or not I impose a prison sentence … if you co-operate with Lives Lived Well and go through their counselling service, well there's every reason that I won't go ahead with that.

"They're not your enemy. Whatever problems you have … just talk to them. We might be able to get you through this."

The case was adjourned to January 29 for mention.



Businesses lose $10K every week, many ‘will not make it’

Premium Content Businesses lose $10K every week, many ‘will not make it’

An industry leader says many businesses face shutting their doors

Grafton train station in line for an upgrade

Premium Content Grafton train station in line for an upgrade

Clarence Valley small businesses will be able to take part in the design and...

Asphalt work to take place on new Maclean interchange

Premium Content Asphalt work to take place on new Maclean interchange

Changed traffic conditions and local detours will be in place at the Maclean...