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Jeff Fenech avoids recorded conviction

AAP logoAAP 25/07/2016

By Rebecca Ison

Boxing legend Jeff Fenech won't have a conviction recorded against him despite his "petulant outburst" at a NSW Crime Commission murder hearing.

The 52-year-old, dubbed the Marrickville Mauler during his career, threw a document on the ground, put his hands in front of him and asked to be locked up during the hearing last November.

But the Downing Centre local court's deputy chief magistrate Christopher O'Brien on Monday dismissed a charge relating to the disruption and ordered Fenech to enter a two-year good behaviour bond.

The court heard that Fenech paced between the bench and bar table at the commission and said words to the effect of "I'm out of here" about an hour and 20 minutes after he started giving evidence.

After speaking with his lawyer, the triple world champion immediately apologised and continued to give evidence.

"It was not threatening," Mr O'Brien said of the former boxer's conduct.

"Offensive language was not used. Neither was any violence offered."

The court heard Fenech, who pleaded guilty to disrupting the hearing, was not accused of being involved in the murder the commission was investigating.

Mr O'Brien said Fenech's "petulant outburst" which lasted less than a minute, seemed to be an act of exasperation rather than a deliberate attempt to undermine the commission's authority.

He said the offence was on the lower end of the scale but added Fenech must have known his actions were inappropriate.

"Why else otherwise would he would he have asked to be locked up?" Mr O'Brien said.

The court heard Fenech had previously been congratulated on his decades-long community work by former prime minister John Howard.

Fenech's lawyer Danny Eid said his client had suffered "tremendous grief" since the incident.

"I tried my best that day ," Fenech said outside court.

"And maybe I did get a little angry. I regretted that, I apologised."

Numerous references, including one from former Nine boss David Gyngell, were tendered in court.

Mr O'Brien took Fenech's charity work into account before dismissing the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.

"The outcome is not as a consequence of his public profile," he said.

"The outcome does, however, bear in mind the generous community contribution that public profile has allowed him to give."

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