A 39-year-old Victorian man has been formally charged with a string of offences relating to the alleged stalking and threatening of AFL player Dylan Grimes and his wife, with the case centring around a string of abusive comments and DMs sent via Instagram.
Frankston man Christopher Zammit has been formally charged by police with five counts relating to incidents involving both Grimes and AFL umpire Andrew Stephens, the Herald Sun reports.
In court filings associated with the charges, police allege that Zammit sent abusive DMs and made a string of public comments on posts made on Instagram by Grimes on August 23rd last year. That day happened to be the day immediately after Richmond defeated Essendon in the AFL’s annual Dreamtime match.
In a separate incident that occurred between July 31st and August 1st last year, police also allege Zammit left several voice messages on umpire Stephens’ personal voicemail, and attempted to call his business mobile five times.
Zammit has been charged with five offences, three of which pertain Grimes. One charge for threatening to rape Grimes’ wife Elisha in a message sent to Grimes, one charge of stalking, and one charge of using a carriage service to menace.
In the Stephens incident, Zammit has been charged with one count of stalking, and one count of using a carriage service to menace.
A court has reportedly heard that Zammit has been granted bail in relation to both incidents.
He is due to return to Frankston Magistrates Court to have the matters heard on June 23.
Neither Grimes and the Richmond Football Club nor the AFL and AFL Umpires Association have issued public comment on the court proceedings.
Following the Richmond/Essendon game last year, Grimes called out the abusive messages from “fans” that he had copped in the hours following. Instagram will soon implement new message filters and an expanded block function in a bid to aid professional athletes shield themselves from the wanton abuse of strangers.