A retired AFL player who admitted assaulting the ex-wife of TV weatherman Steve Jacobs they night after they ended a tumultuous relationship has walked free from court.
Magistrate Michael Allen found Matt Shir had put his arms around Rosie Jacobs and pulled her towards him after going to her home because he was concerned for her welfare.
‘No actual violence was engaged in by the offender towards the victim,’ Mr Allen said in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday. ‘His conduct was described as cuddling.’
Mr Allen said Shir had not made and threats against Jacobs or tried to intimidate her when he assaulted her at the end of a ‘somewhat volatile’ and ‘on again, off again’ relationship that had badly disintegrated.
Shir had gone to Jacobs’ home late at night, when she was alone, but had been ‘motivated by concern for the victim’, Mr Allen found.
Mr Mr Allen said domestic violence was a serious issue for society but Shir’s actions were ‘very low-level offending’ and agreed with his solicitor Greg Goold’s submission that no conviction should be recorded.
Rosie and her TV weatherman husband Steve Jacobs (pictured) announced the end of their eight-year marriage in March 2018. She moved on with Canadian commando Dylan Nash before starting a relationship with retired AFL player Matt Shir
Shir pleaded guilty to assaulting Rosie at her Bronte apartment on January 10, the night after they broke up. He had forced his way into her home and refused to leave when asked
Jacobs and Shir (pictured) met via a dating app in June 2018 and their relationship progressed quickly, with Shir moving into her apartment in Sydney’s eastern suburbs by October that year
Instead, Mr Allen placed Shir on a two-year conditional release order for the assault and another one-year order for recklessly damaging property.
Shir, who had accused Jacobs of destructive drinking during their relationship, expressed no animosity towards her when he spoke to Daily Mail Australia outside court.
‘I’m relieved that it’s over and and hope we can both get on with our lives without any further dramas or setbacks,’ he said.
Jacobs had been on the rebound from a fling with Canadian commando Dylan Nash after the breakdown of her marriage when she fell for Shir.
The pair met via a dating app in June 2018 and Shir moved into her apartment at Bronte, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, by October that year.
Rosie and Steve Jacobs had announced the end of their eight-year marriage seven months earlier, after which they shared custody of their two daughters.
Shir said in an affidavit that while living with Jacobs he welcomed his new role helping the children with their homework and taking them to and from school.
Rosie Jacobs (pictured) said she wanted to put her relationship with Shir behind her. ‘I wish to move forward and put this entire situation behind me so I can focus on the future, my health and the happiness of my children’
Jacobs objected to Shir’s claims about her drinking, saying earlier this month: ‘I am a non-drinker and have been very proud of my sobriety for quite some time.’ The former couple is pictured
He also soon became aware that Jacobs was ‘under the care of a psychologist and on anti-depressants in relation to her mental state and alcohol abuse’, according to the affidavit tendered in court earlier this month.
The 39-year-old alleged he once found Jacobs passed out drunk on a riverbank and that she was admitted to a rehab clinic due to alcohol problems.
Rosie Jacobs timeline
May 2010: Rosie and Steve Jacobs marry in Bali. The couple has daughter Isabella in 2011 and Francesca in 2013.
Mid 2017: The family moves to Vanuatu in ‘last-ditch’ attempt to save marriage.
March 2018: Rosie announces her separation from Steve and embarks on a brief relationship with Canadian commando Dylan Nash.
June 2018: Rosie meets former AFL player Matt Shir on a dating app.
September 2018: Shir moves into Rosie’s apartment at Bronte.
February 2019: Rosie celebrates her 40th birthday with Shir in Bali.
March/April 2019: According to Shir, Rosie admits herself to South Pacific Private rehabilitation clinic.
June/July 2019: Shir moves out of the Bronte apartment.
September 2019: Shir and Rosie resume their relationship; he stays regularly at Bronte.
October 2019: According to Shir, Steve Jacobs receives a call from Rosie’s neighbour to say she has ‘passed out from excessive alcohol’.
December 2019: Rosie flies to Bali for a yoga retreat. Upon her return she and Shir spend Christmas at her mother’s house. Shir says he finds Rosie passed out drunk on a riverbank.
January 8, 2020: Rosie sends Shir a love poem calling him her beautiful wookie’.
January 9, 2020: The couple splits up.
January 10, 2020: Shir breaks into Rosie’s home and gives her an unwanted hug.
September 2020: Shir pleads guilty to common assault and recklessly damaging a privacy screen. According to Shir, Rosie admits herself to South Pacific Private.
Jacobs objected to the contents of the affidavit, telling Daily Mail Australia: ‘I am a non-drinker and have been very proud of my sobriety for quite some time.’
‘Every single detail that Matt has alleged about me is entirely false and intended purely to cause detrimental harm to me,’ the 41-year-old journalist said.
The night Shir assaulted Jacobs on January 10 – the day after the pair had permanently separated – he broke into the Bronte apartment and grabbed her when she told him to leave.
A statement of facts tendered to the court said of the couple’s relationship: ‘There were reciprocal allegations of the other’s mental health state, alcohol addiction and infidelity.’
The assault has been described as an unwanted bear hug or cuddle.
Shir’s affidavit included allegations about Jacobs’s mental health and drinking.
‘During our relationship it had become acutely obvious to me that Rose was troubled by excessive alcohol consumption,’ Shir wrote.
‘She would regularly drink to excess and on many occasions I expressed my concern to her that her consumption of alcohol was a problem and it would impact detrimentally on her life both in relation to herself and her children.’
Shir said that in March or April last year Jacobs admitted herself to South Pacific Private on the Northern Beaches, which describes itself as ‘Australia’s leading treatment centre.’
‘Her admission was directly as a result of her alcohol abuse,’ he said in evidence put before the court.
‘Upon her return from the South Pacific clinic Rose assured me that she was not drinking and that she was on the right track to alcohol abstinence.
‘My observations of her caused me to have reservations about those claims. As a result of that I moved out of the Bronte premises in about June or July of 2019.’
Shir said after moving out of the Bronte apartment he kept seeing Jacobs but with reduced contact for four to six weeks.
He continued ‘looking to check on her welfare, principally her mental welfare, because her go-to response was more alcohol.’
By September the relationship had returned to its previous intimacy and Shir stayed over regularly at Bronte.
In October, according to Shir’s tendered affidavit, Steve Jacobs received a call from his ex-wife’s neighbour to say she was ‘passed out from excessive alcohol’.
‘Over the period of our relationship it was apparent to me that she self-medicated her anxiety and depression with excessive amounts of alcohol,’ Shir wrote.
‘I observed that when intoxicated she had no thoughts for her own or anyone else’s welfare.’
Shir, a development manager at ANZ Bank, said he was not a big drinker and would only occasionally have a couple of beers after work with colleagues.
Shir alleges he once found Jacobs (pictured) passed out drunk on a riverbank and that she was admitted to a rehab clinic due to alcohol problems
‘By the last quarter of 2019 Rose’s drinking had turned to levels of those prior to her going into rehabilitation,’ he wrote in his affidavit.
‘In December she indicated to me that she was going to travel to Bali to attend a yoga retreat.
‘At that time, we were in a monogamous relationship (or so I thought). I had been faithful to her and was not in any other relationship from the time we met.’
Shir said that near the end of the Bali trip Jacobs asked him to advance her money so she could check out of the hotel where she was staying, which he did.
Upon her return to Sydney the couple picked up her children from Steve’s place and drove to Rosie’s mother’s house at Sawtell, near Coffs Harbour, for Christmas.
‘On one of the nights whilst we were there Rose consumed so much alcohol that I had to say something to her about what she was doing to herself,’ Shir wrote.
Jacobs was ‘fully intoxicated’, according to Shir, when she walked out of the house which backs onto a river.
In October last year, according to Shir’s affidavit, Steve Jacobs received a call from his ex-wife’s neighbour to say she was ‘passed out from excessive alcohol’ at her Bronte apartment. Rosie and Steve are pictured
‘I waited several minutes expecting her to return but when she did not I went out searching and approximately 30 minutes later found her 50 metres up-stream passed out on the riverbank,’ he wrote.
‘It was obvious she had been in the water.’
Shir said the pair ‘officially’ separated on January 9 after Jacobs ‘simply would not listen to my entreaties to stop drinking excessively.’
The next night he let himself into her apartment after his own drinking session and she called police when he refused to leave.
Earlier that evening Jacobs had sent Shir an email demanding he return her apartment key. One minute later she sent another email, referring to her December 2019 trip to Bali.
The second email also referred to her former commando lover Dylan Nash who Jacobs had been seeing before she met Shir and after she left Steve.
‘By the way, yes I was with a “friend” in Bali,’ Jacobs wrote. ‘Oh – and Dylan is in Brisbane and is coming to stay with me so I’ll need that key ASAP to give to him. Thanks.’
The night after Jacobs and Shir broke up she sent him an email stating she needed the key to her apartment to give to her former commando lover Dylan Nash (pcitured)
Jacobs told Daily Mail Australia she did not have sex with Dylan when he came to stay with her in January.
‘At no stage was I unfaithful to Matthew during our relationship,’ she said.
‘I have male friends, all of whom have been very concerned for my welfare while Matt was in my life.
‘With regards to Dylan, we have remained dear friends over the years – and he has been a supportive friend to me following my decision to leave Matt.
‘There was no romantic involvement with Dylan when he came to visit me in January following my split with Matt, despite Matthew’s jealous allegations.’
Shir, who said he ended the relationship, pleaded guilty last month to common assault and recklessly damaging property – a privacy screen he had climbed over at the Bronte apartment.
His affidavit was tendered to the sentencing magistrate to put that behaviour into context.
‘Regarding the events of the evening I am truly sorry and really embarrassed about my behaviour,’ Shir wrote.
Shir says he understands Jacobs (pictured) admitted herself to South Pacific Private clinic on September 7 this year ‘due to having depression and worry for her own safety’
‘Given that I believed that she may have started drinking after our abrupt break-up in the previous 24 hours, I thought going over to see her and comfort he was a good idea.
‘Obviously it was not and I admitted that to the police subsequently.’
Shir said he had had no contact with Jacobs since the Bronte incident and had abided by an apprehended violence taken out to protect his former girlfriend.
‘Notwithstanding those restrictions I have still harboured a genuine concern for her welfare and her future prospects,’ he wrote.
Shir said he understood Jacobs admitted herself to South Pacific Private on September 7 this year ‘due to having depression and worry for her own safety.’
What Steve Jacobs said about his ex-wife’s last boyfriend Matt Shir
Steve Jacobs wrote a reference for Matt Shir which was tendered to court:
‘To whom it may concern,
I was in a relationship and married to Rose Jacobs for 12 years and we have two children. Our marriage broke down and we separated at the end of 2017. We agreed to share custody of the children week on, week off.
Rose has endured various problems for which she receives treatment. In the interest of my children, I do not wish to detail these problems for this hearing.
After Rose ended her relationship with Mathew Shir, I contacted him through a mutual friend to ask how the children were doing under Rose’s care. I wanted his opinion on their well-being.
While Mathew was in a relationship with Rose, many of the mothers from [an eastern suburbs school] where our children attend, commented to me that Matt was always stable, kind, caring, reliable and generous with his time helping Rose and taking care of the children. Since contacting him I have also witnessed these same traits. ‘
Daily Mail Australia put all of Shir’s main claims to Jacobs, who addressed most of them in general rather than specifically.
‘He has made these allegations about me as an intent to seek revenge for me ending the relationship,’ she said. ‘No woman, under any circumstances deserves to be subjected to this.
‘I have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder as a result of my relationship with Matthew and have suffered severe anxiety and depression – for which I am taking a proactive approach and am seeking professional support.
‘Despite Matthews allegations, I am grateful that Steven and I are continuing to manage shared custody of our daughters and their health, happiness and well-being has always and will always be my number one priority in my life.
‘My daughters are my everything.
‘I wish to move forward and put this entire situation behind me so I can focus on the future, my health and the happiness of my children.’
How Rosie Jacobs left her ‘unhappy’ marriage to TV weatherman Steve
Rosie and Steve Jacobs are pictured with their daughters Isabella and Francesca
Rosie and Steve Jacobs met on the set of Channel 9’s Today, where he was the weatherman and she was a producer, and married in Bali in May 2010.
She announced their separation in March 2018.
The couple had moved to Vanuatu in mid-2017, in what friends described as a ‘last-ditch attempt’ to save their marriage. They have two daughters: Isabella, nine, and seven-year-old Francesca.
The couple sold their matrimonial home at Coogee in Sydney’s eastern suburbs for $4.6million in April 2018 and Rosie bought a two-bedroom apartment at nearby Bronte for $1.56million in November that year.
The same month Steve told WHO magazine he had been dealt a few ‘curve balls’ since his separation from Rosie.
Shortly after Rosie split from Steve she began seeing Canadian commando Dylan Nash but had moved on with retired AFL footballer Matt Shir in June 2018.
In February 2019 Jacobs celebrated her 40th birthday with Shir, who had moved into her Bronte apartment, in Bali. In June that year she wrote about her marriage breakdown in an article for Whimn.
‘Two years ago I decided to leave my unhappy marriage, after years of trying desperately to make it work,’ she wrote.
‘As a result of this separation, I’ve experienced plenty of anxiety and depression, often blaming and questioning myself.’
Steve, 53, left his role as Today weatherman last December and has been presenting a breakfast radio program this year.
Rosie, 41, who chopped and dyed blonde her famous brunette locks two years ago, has a new corporate hosting gig with Adviser Ratings, a company which helps people find qualified financial advice.