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Sea Patrol: Ian Stenlake pleads guilty to drink driving after Vespa crash

Sea Patrol actor Ian Stenlake pleads guilty to drink driving after crashing his Vespa while carrying a bottle of vodka then getting into a fracas with police and paramedics


TV and theatre actor Ian Stenlake has pleaded guilty to high-range drink driving and other offences following a bizarre altercation with police and paramedics in Sydney’s eastern suburbs earlier this year.

The Helpmann Award nominee, best known for playing commanding officer Mike Flynn in Nine drama Sea Patrol, tried to have some charges dealt with under a Section 14 mental health application, but this was rejected by the magistrate.

A Sydney court heard Mr Stenlake, 52, had been driving erratically on a Vespa carrying a one-litre bottle of vodka, then crashed at a stranger’s property in Randwick at about 1.30pm on Tuesday, July 20, leading to an ambulance being called to the scene.

TV and theatre actor Ian Stenlake, known for playing commanding officer Mike Flynn in Nine drama Sea Patrol (pictured), has pleaded guilty to high-range drink driving and other offences following a bizarre altercation with police and paramedics in Sydney’s eastern suburbs earlier this year

He became confrontational when paramedics tried to lift off the Vespa that was pinning him to the ground, reports NCA Newswire.

After police arrived, Mr Stenlake continued to behave in a disorderly fashion. The officers did not require medical assistance, a NSW Police spokesperson previously told Daily Mail Australia.

He was conveyed to Prince of Wales Hospital under police guard and was then taken to Maroubra Police ­Station, where he was charged with two counts of assaulting a police officer in the execution of duty without actual bodily harm, two counts of common assault, and resisting or hindering a police officer in the execution of duty. 

Mr Stenlake pleaded guilty at Waverley Local Court on Wednesday to the drink-driving charge but sought for other charges, including that of assaulting a police officer, to be handled under a mental health application.

Magistrate Carolyn Huntsman rejected the claim the father of three had PTSD or bipolar disorder because ‘the psychologist’s report is… based on a self-report’.

However, she did acknowledge Mr Stenlake had mental health issues and that he felt ‘genuinely disturbed’ by his actions.

A Sydney court heard Mr Stenlake, 52, had been driving erratically on a Vespa carrying a one-litre bottle of vodka, then crashed at a stranger's property in Randwick at about 1.30pm on Tuesday, July 20, leading to an ambulance being called to the scene. Pictured left outside Waverley Local Court in Sydney on Wednesday

A Sydney court heard Mr Stenlake, 52, had been driving erratically on a Vespa carrying a one-litre bottle of vodka, then crashed at a stranger’s property in Randwick at about 1.30pm on Tuesday, July 20, leading to an ambulance being called to the scene. Pictured left outside Waverley Local Court in Sydney on Wednesday

She said the bipolar diagnosis seemed to be ‘unsubstantiated in the psych report’ and there was also no mention of ‘intrusive thoughts [or] flashbacks’ associated with a PTSD diagnosis.

Mr Stenlake was sentenced to an 18-month community correction order for the drink-driving charge, slapped with a six-month driving ban, and must have an interlock fitted in his car for two years.

He was placed on a 12-month community correction order for the other offences.

Mr Stenlake (pictured with Amber Mulley at the Helpmann Awards in July 2018) tried to have some charges dealt with under a Section 14 mental health application, but this was rejected by the magistrate

Mr Stenlake (pictured with Amber Mulley at the Helpmann Awards in July 2018) tried to have some charges dealt with under a Section 14 mental health application, but this was rejected by the magistrate

Mr Stenlake is perhaps best known for his theatre work, with credits including Mamma Mia! (2018), Around the World in 80 Days (2016) and Oklahoma! (2005).

In addition to his starring role in Sea Patrol from 2007 to 2011, he appeared in Nine’s Stingers from 1998 to 2002 and Children’s Hospital in 1997.

He has two children from his first marriage to theatre performer Rachael Beck, and another child from his second marriage to actress Amber Mulley.

In addition to his starring role in Sea Patrol from 2007 to 2011, he appeared in Nine's Stingers from 1998 to 2002 and Children's Hospital in 1997

In addition to his starring role in Sea Patrol from 2007 to 2011, he appeared in Nine’s Stingers from 1998 to 2002 and Children’s Hospital in 1997 

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