Slater convicted, labelled domestic abuser

Control and focus - the same qualities that made Michael Slater a world-class opening batsman - have led to his first convictions, and the former Test cricketer's labelling as a "domestic abuser".

The 52-year-old, who played 74 matches in the baggy green before a long stint in the commentary box, was convicted on Wednesday of common assault, breaching a restraining order and two other offences against a woman.

Slater was drunk and erratic in April when he yanked the woman's hoodie and she fell into a kitchen benchtop.

Over the following months, he tried to email, text and call her more than 100 times in breach of a court order.

Magistrate Robyn Denes dismissed an application to dismiss the case on mental health grounds, as another court allowed in April for charges against a separate woman.

She said the offending involved noted aspects of domestic violence crimes: accusations of infidelity, demands to see phones, restrictions on who the woman could meet and speak to, and threats of self-harm.

"It's all controlling behaviour," the Manly magistrate said.

"Threats of self-harm can be viewed as controlling and intimidating conduct, making the other person responsible for the acts of the offender."

Through his lawyer, Slater then pleaded guilty to the offences and asked to be spared a conviction.

"He has no prior convictions, he was a person who, at one time, in that point was able to muster the strength for the very high level of focus an opening batsman in test cricket must have," barrister John Agius SC said.

"He is very clearly debilitated by a medical condition."

Slater appeared in court via audiovisual link from a rehabilitation centre, having spent almost every day since April in rehab or mental health facilities.

But Ms Denes found little evidence of contrition besides the early pleas.

"I have not seen any indication (he recognises) that what he was doing was being a domestic abuser," she said.

"In light of that, a conviction is required and would be expected by the community."

She sentenced him to two-year good behaviour bonds. Further offending could result in Slater being resentenced for these offences.

Police prosecutor Craig Pullen had supported convictions being recorded as the community must know domestic violence "cannot be tolerated".

The former cricketer, who averaged 42.83 in his 74 Tests for Australia between 1993 and 2001, had been highly regarded, trained hard and was able to exercise a great deal of control during his career, Mr Agius said.

While he enjoyed a later successful commentary career with Nine and Seven networks, that was effectively over given the publicity of his recent encounters with the law, the court was told.

Mr Agius asked what Slater had "to look forward to" when his credentials were professional sport and he faced both back pain and mental issues.

Slater had not been "intentionally bad" in his offending, and his steps to address his "deep-seated psychological problems" were evidence of contrition, Mr Agius said.

He was recently prescribed mood stabiliser lithium for what is likely bipolar.

The agreed facts of the April incident state Slater started drinking vodka about 8am on a Tuesday and then repeatedly accused his girlfriend of six weeks of infidelity.

About 4pm, he demanded her phone, reviewed it and tossed it to the ground.

Long after injuring her, she emailed a work colleague and he said "if you get in contact with anyone again, I will jump off the balcony".

A third party later called police, resulting in Slater's arrest.

Ms Denes agreed to dismiss three other charges on mental health grounds, stemming from a "quite unique" incident at Northern Beaches Hospital in July.

Slater assaulted a fellow patient who was goading him, the court was told.

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