On the Monday night after the game, Mr Alexander was drunk and became angry at the result of the game and emailed Grimes, the footballer’s wife and their winery, according to documents released by Ringwood Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
The emails caused Grimes and his wife fear and apprehension, according to a police summary.
Mr Alexander told police he was drunk and hadn’t taken his medication properly when he sent the messages. Asked why he sent them, he told police, “All the Essendon supporters were carrying on and I thought ‘Oh, I better get involved in that.'”
He was charged with stalking and using a carriage service to menace and admitted sending the emails but was on Wednesday spared a conviction when police agreed he should be put on the court’s diversion program, where first-time offenders can avoid a criminal record if they admit wrongdoing.
Magistrate David Starvaggi warned Mr Alexander he faced a jail term if he ever sent abusive and threatening messages.
“Do you know what a keyboard warrior is?” the magistrate asked Mr Alexander.
Mr Alexander: “No sir, I don’t.
Mr Starvaggi: “A keyboard warrior, using the vernacular, is someone who sits at their computer and types away and tries to conceal their identity. In your case you’re not very good at it.”
Mr Starvaggi said Mr Alexander’s “repugnant, repulsive and abhorrent” behaviour could cause others emotional stress and psychological harm.
The magistrate said Mr Alexander would be spared a criminal record if he was of good behaviour for six months, donated $1000 to the Alannah & Madeline Foundation and wrote a letter of apology to Mr Grimes and his wife.
The letter, the magistrate said, had to be serious and reflect genuine remorse.
“Yes, I understand, sir,” Mr Alexander said.
Mr Alexander, of Mitcham, was the second man charged with stalking Mr Grimes in the days after the Richmond-Essendon game. A Frankston man is due to front court next year.
Richmond declined to comment on Wednesday. In August, Mr Grimes shared on Instagram some of the messages sent to him and wrote that he wanted to remind Essendon fans “this is a game we play for fun”.
Adam Cooper joined The Age in 2011 after a decade with AAP. Email or tweet Adam with your news tips.