An NRL star nearly died after losing 2.5 liters of blood when he cut himself while smashing a window after he caught his fiancé performing a sex act on his teammate, a court has heard.
Ex-Sharks and Bulldogs hooker Michael Lichaa, 29, was acquitted of domestic violence on Friday after his former fiancée Kara Childerhouse refused to testify against him.
After he awoke to find Ms. Childerhouse in his backyard having sex on his former Bulldogs teammate Adam Elliott, he became enraged, the court was told.
In a state of shock and still under the influence of alcohol after drinking at his house all afternoon and into the early morning, a torrent of expletives rained from his mouth in disbelief.
He stormed in, followed by Mr. Elliott, where he smashed the glass window of his front door, severely cutting his arm as he pulled it out of the frame.
Concerned neighbors, who reported hearing a man yell “I’m going to fucking kill her,” yelled triple-0, the court heard.
In the aftermath, he was charged with domestic violence after Mrs Childerhouse accused him of assaulting her.
Lichaa denied that he had assaulted Ms Childerhouse, stating that he was “going to kill her”.
But the incident made him a shattered man.
“I couldn’t get out of my mind the image of my fiancé performing oral sex with my best friend,” Lichaa told the court on Friday.
He took the stand in the afternoon and in a testimony described by magistrate Melissa Humphreys as “real and insightful,” explained how it led him to seek counseling to take responsibility for his actions.
“I’m glad the truth has finally come out; I had a lot of faith in the truth the whole time,” Mr. Lichaa told NCA NewsWire out of court on Friday, thanking his legal team, family and new fiancé.
“But I want to put it all behind me now and move on with my life and happy days ahead.”
His trial took a sensational turn on Thursday when Ms Childerhouse refused to come to Sutherland court to testify.
Despite a subpoena and halfway through her testimony, the police were unable to contact her after knocking on her door and calling her.
The court heard that she no longer wanted to participate in the proceedings and was pregnant and concerned about the stress of reliving the incident.
All the testimonials she had provided up to that point were excluded.
A statement – in which she retracted the allegations – was admitted as evidence.
It left the prosecutor with no evidence to subscribe to the charges.
Elliott told the court on Thursday that he had been drinking for 12 hours as the ugly incident unfolded.
When it was suggested that Mr Lichaa had assaulted Ms Childerhouse, Mr Elliott told the court, “I disagree.”
Mr Elliott told the court that Mr Lichaa went in and he followed in an attempt to apologise.
Mr Lichaa exclaimed “what the hell are you doing?” and went out into his driveway and walked back and forth in a heated state.
A witness previously told the court that she heard a man say loudly, “I’m going to fucking kill her”.
Mr Lichaa’s lawyer James Trevallion denied that this amounted to harassment, adding that there was no evidence the words had been said in her presence.
“Obviously it was a situation where there was a lot of emotion and feeling and it would be remarkable if he was walking up and down the street when he wasn’t yelling and yelling and being emotional and upset about what had happened,” Mr Trevallion told the court. on Friday.
Ms Humphreys said she could not discover beyond reasonable doubt that he said the words in her presence as they found him not guilty of one count of harassment.
Lichaa pleaded guilty to the less serious charge of destroying property related to a broken glass window he smashed during the incident.
Body-worn police CCTV footage obtained by NCA NewsWire showed pools of blood in his home after he cut his arm.
The court heard that he had lost 2.5 liters of blood and his father Joe emotionally told the court that he feared his son would lose his life.
In the police footage, an officer describes the scene as a “blood feast”.
Mr Lichaa was taken to hospital and underwent surgery before being taken into custody and charged.
He pleaded guilty to the property destruction charge and Ms. Humphreys refused to include a conviction, giving him a two-year parole.
He told the court that at the time he felt his life had been “ruined” by Ms Childerhouse and Mr Elliott, but said he refused to blame them any longer.
Instead, he described his actions in breaking the door as wrong.
“It’s something I take ownership of. It’s humiliating. I totally regret it,” he said.
He told how he had undergone counseling, visited a psychologist and a life coach to get his life back on track.
“It’s not something that men talk too much about, especially mental health,” Lichaa told the court.
“But it’s something I think is huge.”
The court also heard that the charges prevented him from being registered as a player with the NSWRL and that he had since retired from rugby league.