Former world champ cyclist jailed for wife beating

SYDNEY: Former world champion cyclist Stephen Pate of Australia was handed a 20-month jail term yesterday for wife beating. 

Pate, 39, pleaded guilty in a Melbourne court to 11 charges related to assaults on his wife in November and February. 

Judge John Barnett said in addition to the damage and injuries caused by Pate, the gravity of his offences was worsened by the fear he had instilled in his wife and children. 

Pate was a dominant figure in track cycling in the 1980s and 1990s, winning the world professional sprint championships in 1988. 

But he was left off Australia's gold-medal-winning team for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, a setback the court heard led to Pate turning to alcohol and squabbling with his wife. 

Pate was first arrested last year for a domestic violence incident but was released on bail and returned to the family home and threatened his wife with a knife, prosecutors said. 

He violated court orders and returned home twice in February, the court was told. – AFP 

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