23 May 2024

Alleged attempted killer Alex Ophel's committal to higher court delayed for expert report

| Albert McKnight

Alex Leonard Ophel has entered not guilty pleas to his charges, which include attempted murder. Photo: YouTube.

Alex Leonard Ophel, who allegedly stabbed two women and assaulted two men at the ANU on 18 September 2023, has had his committal to the ACT’s higher court delayed as lawyers are still waiting on a mental health report.

He has entered not guilty pleas to two counts of attempted murder and assault, as well as to a single count of possessing an object with the intent to cause harm.

While the matter was expected to be committed to the Supreme Court on Thursday (23 May), on the day, the ACT Magistrates Court heard it would be delayed by six weeks.

His lawyer, Tim Sharman of Tim Sharman Solicitors, said he was still waiting for a final report from an expert he had engaged.

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He said all the material relevant to the issue of mental impairment had been passed on and he wanted an adjournment of six weeks for the final report to be prepared.

“It is moving the matter quite long into the future,” Special Magistrate Lucinda Wilson remarked.

The prosecutor said it was “unfortunate” that the matter was getting “a bit long in the tooth”, but her team did want to see the report.

Ophel, who didn’t appear in the courtroom, was remanded in custody and the matter was adjourned for a committal on 10 July.

He was ordered to be brought into court on that occasion.

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

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

Police have alleged that at about 2:45 pm on 18 September 2023, 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 women left hospital in October 2023.

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