14 March 2024

Alleged ANU attacker Alex Ophel pleads not guilty to all charges

| Claire Fenwicke
Alex Leonard Ophel

Alex Leonard Ophel has pleaded not guilty by way of mental impairment over the alleged attacks at the ANU. Photo: YouTube.

The man accused of stabbing two women and attacking two men at the Australian National University (ANU) campus has pleaded not guilty to all charges on grounds of mental impairment.

Alex Leonard Ophel has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault and a single count of possessing an object with the intent to cause harm over the incident from 18 September 2023.

His case was briefly heard in the ACT Magistrate’s Court on Thursday (14 March) where Ophel’s defence lawyer, Tim Sharman of Tim Sharman Solicitors, entered the pleas on his behalf.

“Ultimately, the brief [of evidence] has been prepared and served,” he said.

It will now be considered by the prosecution, which indicated it would need 10 weeks to do so.

The case will next be listed for committal on 23 May.

His case has been delayed several times as the court waited for a mental health assessment to be finalised.

The court has previously heard the case would be heading towards an argument of mental impairment.

READ ALSO Two crowd safety workers arrested over allegedly assaulting patrons at Summernats 2024

Police have alleged that at about 2:45 pm on 18 September, four students were attacked by a man on the ANU grounds.

It is alleged he repeatedly stabbed two 20-year-old women with a knife and assaulted two male students, aged 34 and 19, with a frypan or by punching them in the face.

One of the women was left with critical injuries and both were taken to hospital. The woman left hospital in October 2023.

Bachelor of Arts student Ilysha Perry was one of the women who was seriously injured in the attack.

Her mother, Fiona Coffrey, later told media that while she will hopefully recover, “she’ll never be the same”.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.