Michael Slater back in hospital as domestic violence charges dismissed

Michael Slater has been taken to hospital for mental health reasons as domestic violence charges against him are dismissed.

Michael Slater is under a fresh police investigation over an alleged domestic violence incident, just hours before he had similar charges dismissed on mental health grounds.

Slater was due to appear in Sydney’s Waverley Local Court on Wednesday morning where he was seeking to have a string of domestic violence charges dealt with under the Mental Health Act.

However, the ex-cricket star did not appear alongside his lawyer, with police prosecutor Sergeant Lachlan Kirby telling the court Slater had been detained by police and paramedics on Tuesday night and taken to a mental health facility on Sydney’s northern beaches.

NSW Police said in a statement that they were called to a Manly unit following an alleged domestic violence-related incident.

However, Slater has not been charged.

“About 9.20pm (Tuesday 26 April 2022), officers attached to Northern Beaches Police Area Command were called to a unit on West Promenade, Manly, following reports of a domestic violence-related incident,” NSW Police said in a statement.

“On arrival, police were told a 52-year-old man had allegedly assaulted a 35-year-old woman.”

Police said Slater and the woman were “known to each other” and inquiries were continuing while he was in hospital for assessment.

Magistrate Ross Hudson was not aware of the fresh police investigation on Wednesday morning when he ruled that Slater’s charges be dealt with on mental health grounds rather than via criminal law.

Slater’s barrister Richard Pontello appeared via videolink and consented to Mr Hudson handing down his decision in Slater’s absence.

Slater was charged with using a mobile phone to harass his ex-partner between March and October last year, as well as stalking and intimidating the woman in Randwick.

According to a police statement of facts seen by NCA Newswire, the woman attended Waverley Police Station on October 19 last year, asking for an AVO to be taken out against Slater, who she had previously been in a relationship with.

The police prosecutions previously told the court that he was “controlling”.

He was charged with using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend and stalk/intimidate intending to cause fear following an alleged domestic violence-related incident at her home.

In December, he was rearrested at Manly, and charged with contravening an AVO and further charged with using a carriage service to menace, harass or intimidate his former partner.

The court heard Slater sent at least 66 text messages and made at least 18 phone calls to his ex-partner over about two-and-a-half hours on the night of December 14.

The court heard that his ex-partner had blocked his number but he sent her a barrage of messages via WhatsApp while signed in under the name “MJS”.

Mr Pontello last week told the court that Mr Slater was suffering a major depressive disorder and ADHD at the time of the offending but was now in remission.

The court also heard at the time he had relapsed into alcohol abuse.

Last Friday Mr Pontello told the court that Mr Slater had spent 108 days in a rehabilitation facility from January to March this year.

He argued that there was a public interest in him being dealt with under the Mental Health Act so he could continue his treatment.

The police prosecution opposed the application to deal with the charges on mental health grounds, noting their seriousness and that he was on bail at the time of the second lot of charges.

Mr Hudson said there was a need to deter domestic violence offending that occurred “behind closed doors”.

Mr Hudson said leading up to the offending, Mr Slater’s mental health deteriorated while stuck in India during the Covid pandemic, as well as while in hotel quarantine on his return to the country.

He said Mr Slater had also used alcohol to deal with his depression following the breakdown of his relationship.

He was last year axed from Channel 7’s cricket coverage following a string of tweets aimed at Prime Minister Scott Morrison while staying in the Maldives when the Indian Premier League was suspended.

Mr Hudson described Mr Slater’s behaviour as him “unravelling” and signs of his mental health deteriorating.

He noted Mr Slater had sought treatment for his mental health.

“He has a significant illness and has done significant work since that period of time, and he should be proud of that,” he said.

He ruled the charges be dealt with under the Mental Health Act and ordered Mr Slater abide by a treatment plan for 12 months.

Mr Slater will also be subject to an AVO from his ex-partner for five years.

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