ATP Tour

Court finds Tomic's dad guilty

John Tomic (AFP)
John Tomic (AFP)
Madrid - A Spanish judge handed an eight-month jail sentence to John Tomic, father of Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic, for headbutting his son's French training partner, a court said on Friday.

John Tomic was sentenced for the assault outside a Madrid hotel in May, in which he broke Thomas Drouet's nose and knocked him out, the court said in a written judgement.

"I sentence the accused Ivica Tomic as the author of a crime of bodily harm... to a penalty of eight months' prison," wrote judge Jacobo Vigil Levi in a ruling, referring to the Bosnian-born defendant, 49, by his official name.

A court source said that Tomic could appeal to two higher courts before the sentence is made definitive.

He will not serve jail time, however, as the sentence is less than two years and he has no previous convictions in Spain, the source added. If the sentenced is confirmed, he will have to pay small legal costs.

Bernard Tomic's French-Monacan training partner Thomas Drouet, was left in a neck brace with a bandaged nose after the confrontation outside a hotel in Madrid on May 4, while the Australian number one was competing in the Madrid Masters.

In court in July, the Australian player's father denied the charges, claiming he acted in self-defence.

In the ruling released on Friday but dated July 24, the judge said there was no proof that Drouet had attacked John Tomic first.

Prosecutors had demanded a two-year jail sentence.

Following the incident John Tomic was banned from attending ATP events including the current US Open, where his son was knocked out in the second round last month.

Earlier this year he was not present as German-born Bernard, 20, put a miserable run during the European clay court season behind him to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon, where he was defeated by Tomas Berdych.

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