Virus delays former Miss Australia emotional abuse case

A court hearing for a former Miss Australia accused of emotionally abusing her then-husband has been put on hold because the sitting magistrate has COVID-19.

Kathryn Isobel Hay, 48, previously pleaded not guilty to the emotional abuse or intimidation of Troy Shane Richardson from January 2014 to November 2022.

The expected three-day hearing, which began in Launceston Magistrates Court in northern Tasmania on Tuesday, was adjourned on Wednesday.

The court was told Magistrate Simon Brown, who was noticeably coughing during the opening day's proceedings, had coronavirus.

The hearing was listed to resume on July 17, with a total of three days set aside.

Hay, who served as a Labor MP in Tasmania's parliament from 2002-2006, was crowned Miss Tasmania and Miss Australia in 1999.

Mr Richardson, whose cross-examination has not concluded, told the court about several occasions when Hay punched and slapped him, and was verbally abusive in person and via messages.

He said he was threatened weekly, given a black eye from a punch, called a c*** and bastard, hit with a shoe while he was driving and told by Hay to lift a family violence order against her.

He denied accusations from Hay's lawyer he had made the whole thing up, had control of her Facebook account and had sent messages to himself.

Mr Richardson told the court Hay falsely accused him of having an affair and tracking her.

He said the alleged abuse and accusations made him feel depressed and worthless.

"She would often make a point of having an argument in public just to make me feel low," he said.

"It would make me want to curl up into a little ball."

Mr Richardson agreed with an assertion from Hay's lawyer that the end of their marriage was acrimonious.

Hay is expected to give evidence, as are two counsellors and a police officer.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Lifeline 13 11 14