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Matthew Newton: “I’ve always been mental”

March 27, 2012

Actor Matthew Newton’s mental illness was “at its worst” during an alleged attack on a taxi driver, a Sydney court has heard.

Newton, 35, had probably been mentally ill his entire life and assault charges against him should be dealt with under the Mental Health Act, his lawyer Chris Murphy told North Sydney Local Court on Tuesday.

Newton, 35, is charged with punching taxi driver Mohsen Khayami, 66, in the left side of the neck while seated in his taxi at Crows Nest in northern Sydney on December 4.

Newton, the son of showbusiness couple Bert and Patti Newton, is also charged with punching Mr Khayami twice in the region of his head.

Mr Murphy said Newton was taking a “bomb load of medication”, for bipolar and obsessive compulsive disorder, including an anti-psychotic, a mood stabiliser and an anti-depressant.

He appeared to be suffering from “obvious side effects” of the medication, and two days before the alleged incident the times he took the drugs were changed, Mr Murphy said.

“This occurred when his mental illness was at its worst,” he told magistrate Ellen Skinner.

“He had medication difficulties. He had lost his support base. He was subjected to an assault on his home premises.”

Newton had since moved to a “peaceful midwestern community” in America to escape attention from the media and the public, Mr Murphy said.

“There has been a ferocity of attention that according to two psychiatrists makes his geographical location here very difficult in terms of living in the community,” he said.

“This is a man who has probably been mentally ill all his life, according to doctors.

“He was born in the public eye. From the day he was born, he’s been the focus of the media. He needs some normalcy.”

The court heard there was evidence Newton had an argument with the taxi driver over an $8 meter charge, screamed at him and grabbed his suit jacket before punching him to the head.

Mr Murphy said descriptions of the assault were “utterly inconsistent” with photos recording the alleged incident.

“This is an allegation of assault without injury,” Mr Murphy said, adding it was in the lowest category of crimes that came before the court.

Magistrate Skinner said she had “very little information on what Matthew Newton is actually suffering from”.

She adjourned the matter for further hearing on Wednesday.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2012 6:36 pm

    I don’t like what I know about him.

  2. March 30, 2012 6:43 pm

    Imagine what we don’t know… 😯

  3. March 30, 2012 6:59 pm

    Exactly!

    Now, on good but terminally stupid, apparently blokes…

    Check out Ben Cousins!

    I mean, a fkn airport! seriously?

    Dumb as dogshit.

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/tv-news-crew-target-of-cousins-anger/story-e6frg13u-1226313923875

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