17 October 2023

Alleged ANU attempted murderer Alex Ophel gets mental health assessment

| Albert McKnight
man in glasses sitting in dimly-lit room

Alex Leonard Ophel has been accused of being behind the 2023 attack at the ANU. Photo: YouTube.

The man who allegedly tried to murder two women at the Australian National University is undergoing a mental health assessment, resulting in a lengthy delay to his court case.

Alex Leonard Ophel is accused of being behind the attack at the university on 18 September 2023.

The 24 year old 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.

His lawyer, Tim Sharman from Tim Sharman Solicitors, said he was excused from attending court in person when his case was back before the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday (17 October).

Mr Sharman said he wanted a two-month adjournment for the case as his client was undertaking a mental health assessment, which would, unfortunately, take time.

READ ALSO Knife-wielding man cleared of threat at Parliament House on mental health grounds

He also said the matter was before the court for an application regarding a forensic procedure, and he also wanted that adjourned.

Special Magistrate Sean Richter adjourned the case to December and remanded Ophel, who has not applied for bail, in custody.

woman pointing to a bridge

Bachelor of Arts student Ilysha Perry was seriously injured in the 2023 attack at the ANU. Photo: Supplied.

ACT Policing allege that at about 2:45 pm on 18 September, a man had gone to the grounds of the ANU and attacked four students.

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.

READ ALSO ‘So out of it’ stabber, attempted carjacker given drug treatment order on his birthday

One of the women was left with critical injuries and both were taken to hospital. The women left the facility by October.

Bachelor of Arts student Ilysha Perry was left 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.