Slater’s mental health defence over domestic violence charges

Former Australian Test cricketer Michael Slater remains in hospital while seeking to deal with his domestic violence charges under the Mental Health Act, a court has been told.

Nov 11, 2021, updated Nov 11, 2021
Former Test batsman Michael Slater will seek to use a mental health defence over an alleged domestic violence incident. (File image)

Former Test batsman Michael Slater will seek to use a mental health defence over an alleged domestic violence incident. (File image)

The 51-year-old was arrested in October at a Manly home in Sydney’s northern beaches and charged with stalking and using a carriage service to harass.

He used his mobile phone between March and October this year “to menace or harass,” while the intimidation allegedly occurred between October 12 and 13 in Randwick, according to court documents.

His lawyer James McLoughlin told Waverley Local Court on Thursday that his client was in hospital for “related treatment” and had been assessed by a forensic psychiatrist.

McLoughlin said he would be applying to have the matter dealt with under Section 14 of the Mental Health Act on December 23, and indicated a plea would be entered on that occasion.

Magistrate Carolyn Huntsman at first baulked at the request saying “are you kidding me?”

The magistrate explained the busy court workload was “terrible” and would be inundated with bail reviews just before Christmas.

She warned Mr McLoughlin of recently seeing mental health applications run “outrageously poorly” and asked for his submissions in advance.

Slater, who was previously granted conditional bail, was excused from appearing in court if legally represented.

The former cricket star played in 74 Tests for Australia, scoring 5312 runs at an average of 42.83 after making his debut during the 1993 Ashes tour of England.

The opening batsman also played 42 one-day internationals, scoring just under 1000 runs before retiring from major cricket in 2004.

Slater was recently dropped from Seven Network’s commentary team for the upcoming summer cricket season, with the network choosing not to renew his contract, citing budgetary pressures.

He had previously worked as a commentator and personality for more than a decade on the rival Nine Network.

In 2021, Slater travelled to India to commentate on the Indian Premier League competition.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic escalated there he made controversial comments on social media criticising Australia’s travel restrictions when a flight ban from India was imposed in response to escalating virus infections.

At one stage he claimed Prime Minister Scott Morrison had “blood on his hands” over his handling of the situation.

“If our government cared for the safety of Aussies they would allow us to get home,” Slater tweeted on May 3.

“It’s a disgrace!! Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us like this. How about you sort out quarantine system.”

Morrison later described the comments as “obviously absurd”.

Slater eventually made it to the Maldives before returning to Australia, a route also taken by other Australian players, coaches and officials at the IPL.

His Twitter feed has been inactive since.

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