Australian star Matthew Newton is mentally ill and has been living in "utter fear" for his life since leaving a clinic, according to his lawyer. The actor appeared before a judge on Wednesday, March 2, following his arrest last month for allegedly breaching an apprehended violence order (AVO) by trying to contact his ex-girlfriend, actress Rachael Taylor.
His attorney Chris Murphy told Sydney's Downing Center Local Court the 34 year old made a "mistake" by calling Taylor. Murphy explained that his client is suffering from a psychiatric illness and wants to have the legal matter dealt with under the Mental Health Act. The lawyer told the court, "He (Newton) does not have any addictions, he has a psychiatric illness."
Murphy also revealed that Newton is terrified for his life after he was knocked to the ground by a large man in December 2010. He claimed the attack was inspired by journalist Paul Kent's campaign to members of the public to punch the actor in the mouth.
Murphy added, "(Newton) received several sutures to his face and suffered a broken nose. I have done two cases, where a man has been king-hit (knocked out) and killed. (Newton) lives in utter fear and he has got a mental illness." Kent called for Newton to be given a "good hiding, a smack in the mouth" in August 2010 after the star was accused of assaulting Taylor. The matter was adjourned for a mental health issue hearing next month April 13, according to the AAP.