Monday, October 3, 2022

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios to fight charges of assault on grounds of mental health CBC Sports

Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios will apply to have the assault charge on grounds of mental health dismissed, his lawyer told an Australian court on Tuesday.

Lawyer Michael Kukulies-Smith appeared on behalf of Kyrgios in a courtroom in the tennis star’s hometown of Canberra and asked for an adjournment so that a forensic mental health report could be prepared.

Magistrate Glen Thekston adjourned the case until February 3, when Kyrgios’ lawyers are expected to apply to have the charge dismissed under a section of the local crime law.

The 27-year-old Australian tennis star will appear in court on that date for the first time since he was charged by police by summons in July.

The law gives magistrates the power to dismiss a charge if they are satisfied that an accused person is mentally handicapped, and that dealing with a charge as such would benefit the community and the defendant.

The charge of general assault, which could carry a maximum sentence of two years in prison, pertains to an incident in January 2021 that was reported to local police last December.

Nick Kyrgios of Australia looks on with his runner-up trophy after losing to Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men’s singles Wimbledon final at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The allegation pertains to an incident allegedly involving his ex-girlfriend.

Kukuli-Smith told the court that her client’s mental health history from 2015 made the application appropriate, citing several public statements made by Kyrgios.

In February, Kyrgios opened up about his performance at the 2019 Australian Open, saying that what appears to be a positive time in his life was “one of the darkest times I’ve ever had.”

“I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, turning family and friends away,” he wrote on Instagram. “I felt like I couldn’t talk to or trust anyone. It was a result of opening up and refusing to depend on loved ones and just pushing myself little by little to be positive.”

Kyrgios made further reference to his mental health struggles during his runs in the finals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals of the US Open.

After ending Daniil Medvedev’s US Open title defense last month to reach the quarterfinals, Kyrgios prides himself on getting himself out of “some really tough situations, mentally” and “some really scary places”. expressed.

Thekston questioned whether Kyrgios would be required to appear in court for the February hearing, but Kukuli-Smith said her client wanted to attend.

Kyrgios was scheduled to play against Taiwan’s Tseng Chun-sin at the Japan Open later on Tuesday.

Speaking in Tokyo before his case returned to court, Kyrgios said it was “not difficult at all” to focus on tennis despite the pending charge.

“There’s only so much I can control and I’m taking all steps and out of court,” he told reporters. “I’m just doing what I can and I’m here in Tokyo and just trying to play some good tennis, keep that momentum going and just try to do my job.”

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