Former Australian cricketer Michael Slater avoids jail as domestic violence charges dealt with on mental health grounds

Former Australian Test cricketer Michael Slater has avoided jail with a successful bid to have the domestic violence charges against him dealt with on mental health grounds. 

Mr Slater didn’t appear in court today because he was detained by police and ambulance officers on Tuesday night and taken to Northern Beaches Hospital mental health unit for treatment. 

The 52-year-old was first charged in October last year after he allegedly stalked, intimidated and harassed his ex-wife following an alleged domestic violence incident. 

But a judge on Wednesday ruled he would not face time behind bars for his actions, approving Mr Slater’s claim that his actions were a result of his mental health issues. 

Magistrate Ross Hudson told Waverley Local Court there had been “significant changes” in Mr Slater’s circumstances since he last offended in December 2021. 

“Since February, Mr Slater has recognised his need to stay medicated and to stay on top of his mental health,” Mr Hudson said. 

Mr Slater has seen five separate psychiatrists and spent more than 100 days in various mental health facilities. 

He has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, alcohol addiction, borderline personality disorder, and ADHD. 

The former Australian Test cricketer was arrested at his home in Manly in October 2021 for the initial charges of stalking and intimidating his ex-wife. 

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) was later brought against him at his first court appearance on November 11. 

Just over a month later, Mr Slater allegedly broke the AVO, sending his ex-wife more than 60 offensive texts and calls via WhatsApp. 

Mr Slater’s lawyer said the incident was caused by a relapse into alcoholism. 

He was charged with contravening an AVO, breaching bail, and using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend and ordered to spend a minimum of three weeks in a mental health unit. 

On Wednesday, Mr Hudson ruled the charges were “not too serious” to be dealt with under mental health legislation.

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