Ex-AFL star’s fight to clear name goes on


Victoria’s prosecution agency is trying and stop Glenn Archer’s bid to clear his name. (file) Glenn Archer is fighting a legal battle to clear his name of an assault conviction.

Former AFL star Glenn Archer’s fight to clear his name of assault continues after a Supreme Court judge threw out a bid to end his challenge.

Victorian taxpayers will now foot the bill for legal expenses, including Archer’s, after a Director of Public Prosecutions court action was dismissed on Friday.

Archer, 45, is fighting a legal battle to overturn an assault conviction he received after pleading guilty to punching a runner at a junior football game.

The North Melbourne great struck the volunteer, breaking his glasses as tensions boiled at his son’s game at a Heidelberg oval in June.

He pleaded guilty to assault in September, but was taken aback when he was convicted of the crime, fined $2000 and ordered to replace the victim’s prescription specs.

Archer had believed he would only get a “slap on the wrist” from the Heidelberg magistrate, he later said.

He launched an appeal, initially against the sentence, saying it was too harsh, and later against the conviction.

In November, County Court Judge Paul Grant permitted Archer’s appeal, despite it coming later than the 28-day time limit after sentencing.

The judge found there were “exceptional circumstances” because Archer had not been properly briefed by lawyers on his appeal rights and responsibilities.

But the DPP disagreed, saying the appeal shouldn’t have been allowed, and launched action to stop the ex-Kangaroo.

“It is not enough to say ‘I have exceptional circumstances because I didn’t like the outcome and I had a bad lawyer’,” DPP barrister Ray Gibson told the Supreme Court on Friday.

“There is nothing special here about Mr Archer’s (bid) to appeal, your honour.”

But Justice Kevin Bell found no error of law had occurred and threw out the DPP’s appeal.

“I’m really happy with the outcome,” Archer said as he left court on Friday.

Justice Bell ordered legal costs be paid by the Chief Commissioner of Police.

Archer is expected to face a three-day appeal hearing in the County Court at a later date.

“We’ll go to the County Court now and see how we go,” he said.

Archer played 311 games for the Kangaroos and was named in the club’s Team of the Century.

The fearless defender won the Robert Rose Award for the AFL’s most courageous player a record six times and was awarded the 1996 Norm Smith Medal.

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