Melbourne: Former Australia batsman Michael Slater avoided jail on Wednesday after a Sydney court dismissed domestic violence charges against him on mental health grounds, Australian state media reported.
Slater, 52, was arrested by police in October and charged with harassment and intimidation of his ex-wife following an allegation of domestic violence.
The once-prominent cricket commentator was later charged with breaching a restraining order in December after he was alleged to have sent dozens of texts and calls to his ex-wife.
Magistrate Ross Hudson of Waverley Local Court declined to sentence Slater to jail time on Wednesday but ordered that he spend three weeks in a mental health unit, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said.
“Since February, Mr Slater has recognised his need to stay medicated and to stay on top of his mental health,” the ABC quoted Hudson as saying in court.
“He’s shown a tangibl commitment to therapy and counselling.”
The report said Slater did not appear in court because he was detained by police and ambulance officers on Tuesday and taken to a mental health unit for treatment at a Sydney hospital.
Slater had already seen five separate psychiatrists and spent more than 100 days in various mental health facilities, the ABC said.
The former opening batter played 74 Tests from 1993-2001 and 42 One-day Internationals before becoming a cricket commentator, but was axed by the Seven Network last year.
His departure from Seven came after a furious tirade against Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on social media. Slater had said Morrison had “blood on (his) hands” after the government temporarily banned Australians from returning home from India as the Asian nation battled a COVID-19 outbreak.