DISGRACED former Knights player Zane Tetevano has admitted to the drunken bashing of his ex-girlfriend, prompting the NRL to put his rugby league career on hold.
After initially indicating he would defend the charges, Tetevano pleaded guilty in Newcastle Local Court on Friday to eight charges involving violent attacks on his ex-girlfriend and property damage.
Tetevano, who was listed in the 2014 NRL handbook as 186 centimetres tall and 113 kilograms, admitted to attacking the small-framed woman by pushing her to the ground, kicking her, punching her and throwing her around the bedroom of a Merewether unit they once shared.
The 24-year-old had played 29 games for the Knights from 2011 until he was sacked on April 28 for smashing a taxi windscreen.
Documents tendered in court say the couple met in December 2012, began a relationship in January 2013, and moved in together in August of that year. The first assault occurred three months later.
They had been out separately and met up later that night when Tetevano, who was drunk enough to be stumbling and slurring his words, became upset with his 21-year-old partner and went home without her. Shortly afterwards he sent her a text message showing his hands covered in blood.
She arrived home to find glass all over the floor, five smashed photos still hanging on the wall and Tetevano asleep on the lounge, hands still bloodied.
She went to his aid, but when he woke up he began pushing and striking her with an open palm to her body, face and jaw.
The second time he hit her, on December 21, she tried to ring a friend for help. He smashed her mobile phone, throwing it against a brick wall, and then smashed his own phone when she tried to use that to call for help.
On April 17, 2014, he let loose again. This time he punched her in the stomach. Then he picked her up by her singlet, making it tight around her neck, and used it to pick her up off the bed and throw her into the floor.
He then picked her up by the shirt a second time, and held her against the bedroom wall before throwing her around the room for about five minutes before she could break free, an agreed-on statement of facts said.
Tetevano, of Wyoming on the Central Coast, sat quietly while his matter was dealt with, only getting to his feet to agree to the terms of an apprehended violence order put in place for two years.
He had recently begun training with the Manly Sea Eagles, who issued a statement shortly after his court appearance saying Tetevano was suspended from all club duties, effective immediately.
"The player was signed by the club in good faith. However, the details of previous incidents have now been fully disclosed in a court of law," the statement said.
"Tetevano has been training at the club since the start of November but does not have a registered contract with the NRL. His position at the club will now be reviewed internally before making any further comment."
Tetevano will need to convince NRL officials that he is a "fit and proper person" to be eligible for registration.
It is understood that he is unlikely to reach that standard for several years, if ever.
An NRL spokesman said on Friday that the organisation's position on domestic violence was clear: "We do not condone violence against women."
Tetevano will be sentenced in Newcastle on March 5.
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