Ben Barba told to 'pull his finger out'
FORMER NRL superstar Ben Barba was told to "pull his finger out" if he planned to finish his court-ordered community service by the May deadline.
The 30 year old arrived at Mackay Courthouse this morning for the first mention of fresh charges as the once Dally M winner falls further from grace.
But his lawyer Campbell MacCallum, outside court, said his client had been working and training hard for a better future.
Mr Barba is charged over allegedly punching his brother in law Adrian Currie during an incident at McGuires pub on February 22 this year.
As a result of his alleged offence, he is also charged with breaching a 12-month community service order handed down last year in Mackay Magistrates Court.
Barba had then pleaded guilty to two counts of being a public nuisance near a licensed premises over a shocking incident against his long-term partner and mother of his children Ainsley Currie during the Australia Day long weekend at The Ville Resort-Casino.
As a result of this, Mr Barba's $400,000 contract with the Cowboys, who had thrown the fullback a lifeline, was torn up.
He also pleaded guilty to obstructing police after a bizarre rant was captured by police body worn cameras during an arrest in Mackay on May 6.
At the time, his lawyer Mr MacCallum said Mr Barba had also lost millions in future earnings with the Super League.
He'd had to sell two properties owned by the family because he could no longer afford the mortgages and his client had been living with his parents in Mackay and earning $27 an hour.
The magistrate placed a heavy focus on the impact the offending had on Barba and handed down 150 hours of community service to be completed within one year and convictions were not recorded.
Today it was revealed Mr Barba had only completed 43 unpaid hours since May last year.
"You're going to have to pull your finger out by May," Magistrate Damien Dwyer told him.
"He certainly will your honour," Mr MacMallum said, after noting he had received the breach material.
Mr MacCallum said in relation to the assault occasioning bodily harm charge "case conferencing has significantly advanced already".
"It's certainly the case Mr Barba's not mucking the court around," he said.
He asked for the case to be adjourned to a further submission to be made to prosecution.
Matters were adjourned for three weeks until March 31.
"Mr Barba... one thing I do know is community service is given in lieu on many occasions of a period of imprisonment," Mr Dwyer said.
"So it's best just to get rid of it and then it's finished.
"Just get in, get rid of it, then you don't have to worry about it any more."
Mr Barba was released on bail on his own undertaking.
Outside court as Mr Barba made a phone call, Mr MacCallum told media he expected his client would finish the remaining community service by May.
"He's working hard towards completing his community service," Mr MacCallum said, adding Mr Barba just wanted to get back to playing local footy.
It is understood Mr Barba had been making inroads to playing for a local rugby league side if cleared.
"He wants to get back into playing local footy," Mr MacCallum said.
"He's finished training hard, doing his best so hopefully it all looks best for the future for him."