Orpheus Pledger, the former star of Home and Away, got off with a slap on the wrist after being caught with the deadly drug ice, as the court heard about a mysterious incident from his past in which he was forced to apologise to his victim.
Pledger was not even required to appear in person at a virtual court link in Covid-plagued Melbourne on Tuesday, where the buffed actor was treated as a first offender despite having previously been dealt with by the court.
The 28-year-old was charged as a 21-year-old after a nasty incident in which he was forced to apologise to his victim and complete an anger management programme, according to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.
After the court was unable to locate the specifics, the circumstances surrounding the offence remain mostly unclear.
Instead, he was placed on the court’s diversion programme, where he was had to give $150 to the court fund, complete an anger management programme, and write an apology to his victim, according to Magistrate Tim Bourke.
Diversion plans are frequently given to first-time offenders under Victorian law, and they are meant to have little influence on a person’s life in the future.
Mr Bourke consented to put Pledger on yet another diversion programme despite his past offences on Tuesday, and Pledger got lucky.
Pledger admitting to having a little more than half a gramme of meth and 30 Diazepam tablets in his possession.
He was apprehended on February 19 in Prahran, close outside Melbourne’s CBD, after police discovered him in the driver’s seat of his BMW.
Pledger seemed to be on narcotics, and his speech was slurred as he attempted to answer questions.
A check of his vehicle uncovered a baggie of meth and an unlabeled bottle of prescription medicine.
Pledger tried to claim the tablets belonged to his brother, but the cops weren’t buying it.
When the actor was escorted back to the police station, he was so drunk that officers were unable to question him.
Pledger was not required to enter a formal plea to the charges under the diversion plan; instead, he simply made admissions to the charged offences.
Mr Bourke was told by his counsel, Carmela Pezzimenti, that the only data the court had about Pledger’s earlier offences were given by Pledger himself.
‘Unfortunately, the summary wasn’t available… therefore it was just a matter of my client’s recollection,’ she explained.
‘I also spoke with my client’s mother, who happened to be in court at the time.’
Pledger had likely had a defence to that accusation in 2015, but had accepted the diversion because he was unrepresented by a lawyer and the procedure had been’steamrolled’ by police, according to Ms Pezzimenti.
After being placed on a diversion plan for an assault charge in May, MasterChef’s Ben Ungermann was given an undertaking of good behaviour and instructed to donate $1000 to White Ribbon Australia.
Ungermann, unlike Pledger, was compelled to fly from Queensland to Melbourne to face the magistrate in person.
Due to the fact that Pledger’s last offence was six years ago and of a “different style,” Mr Bourke decided he would give him another shot at diversion.
‘Conditions of diversion will really assist in Mr Pledger’s recovery,’ he added.
Pledger was ordered to complete a drug awareness course, write a letter of thanks to the officer who nabbed him, and pay $150 to the court fund, according to Mr Boorke.
He must also maintain excellent behaviour for the following six months, or he will face the magistrate again.
In July, the Daily Mail Australia exposed how Pledger had gotten himself into legal trouble.
Before he was accused with transporting the lethal substance ice, his life had been on a ‘downward spiral.’
Pledger, a sculpted Adonis on the exterior, allegedly sent off alarm bells when filming Channel 7’s The All New Monty: Guys & Gals in Sydney late last year.
Pledger looked to enjoy his time pulling his gear off on camera for his adoring admirers, as if it were a glorified strip show.
Covid had seen Pledger reinvent himself as an Instagram celebrity and part-time music producer after his Home And Away character was killed off in 2019.
He made headlines in October of last year when he revealed a new love interest, and Pledger was said to be “the happiest” he’d been in a long time.
In June, though, he raised eyebrows when he filmed himself in the shower and disclosed a lot more than he bargained for.
In the obscene video, Pledger momentarily exposes his manhood.
Before walking out nude and preening in front of the bathroom mirror, he had been flaunting his ripped body.
While it was dismissed at the time as a harmless mistake, the Daily Mail Australia has learned that people closest to Pledger were concerned for his well-being.
Pledger requested the magistrate to ‘be compassionate’ on him during a previous videolink court appearance.
The actor was seen sipping from a vaporizer and caressing a black cat at a weird court appearance in July.
Pledger has been suffering since leaving Home And Away in 2019, according to a source close to him who preferred to remain anonymous to Daily Mail Australia.
‘Orpheus has been exhibiting this troubling behaviour for a time,’ the insider claimed, referring to his return to Melbourne after his character was killed off.
According to insiders, his increasingly erratic and concerning behaviour persisted after his breakup from his spouse late last year.
Since the allegations were made public in July, the actor’s Instagram feed has been rather quiet.