Anthony Gobert, who was once considered among the most naturally talented riders ever to throw a leg over a motorcycle appeared in court last week – unemployed and charged with stealing a handbag and robbing a pensioner.
Gobert was first charged on Tuesday, police alleging he stole two $20 notes from the hand of a 70-year-old man who was paying for groceries at a supermarket in Surfers Paradise.
Just one day later he was arrested again, this time on charges of stealing the purse of a 31-year-old woman, again in Surfers Paradise. He denies both allegations.
During the bail hearing on Thursday, Magistrate Michael Hogan said: “This alleged two day crime rampage, to use an inappropriate phrase, involved snatching $40 from a 70-year-old man and a purse from a woman. It is totally appalling behaviour.”
Gobert repeatedly interrupted both the magistrate and his own solicitor Claire Boothman during the hearing, telling them he was a professional motorcycle rider, but later admitting he was unemployed and recently applied for a job at Subway.
He was granted bail until a hearing on June 11, but was ordered to surrender his passport and not to enter the areas of Surfers Paradise where the crimes were committed while he was on bail.
Anthony Gobert burst onto the motorcycle racing scene in 1994, aged just 19, taking pole and a win at the Phillip Island WSB round as a wildcard – beating names including Carl Fogarty and Scott Russell.
Replacing Scott Russell at Kawasaki in 1995 he took 4th in the WSB championship, and his meteoric rise saw him racing for Suzuki MotoGP – but he was fired mid-season for failing a drugs test, the start of a struggle against drugs and alcohol that saw his racing career and personal life go off-the-rails.