Felix Dean: Ex-Home and Away child star admits to assaulting three people and attempting to steal a car using a wine bottle as a weapon during drug-fuelled rampage
- Ex-child star’s spiral outlined in court
- At 26 he has been sentenced to jail
The struggles of a former Home and Away star have been laid bare as he was jailed for assaulting three people and attempting to steal a car using a wine bottle as a weapon.
Felix Dean appeared in Sydney Downing Centre Local Court via audiovisual link on Monday where he pleaded guilty to assault with intention to rob, three counts of common assault, and breaching a previous court order.
The 26-year-old was wearing prison greens and an anxious expression he was sentenced to at least a year behind bars for the drug-fuelled crime spree.
The court heard he was using drugs and ‘heavily intoxicated’ when he approached a stranger for ‘unclear reasons’ outside a restaurant in Newtown, in Sydney’s inner west, on April 31.
Dean, who shot to fame portraying the young character VJ Patterson on the hit show Home and Away, shouted ‘I’ll smash you’ at the man as they walked past each other on the street.
The struggles of a former Home and Away star have been laid bare as he was jailed for assaulting three people and attempting to steal a car using a wine bottle as a weapon. Pictured Felix Dean
Dean shot to fame portraying the young character VJ Patterson on Home and Away between 2007 and 2014. Pictured young Felix Dean in a scene from the hit soap opera
When the stranger turned around, Dean pushed him backwards a few metres before trying to strike him in the face.
Another man intervened and Dean shoved him forcefully in the chest before throwing a punch, which the man ducked.
He and Dean ‘squared up to one another’ and adopted boxing stances while they attempted to hit each other, according to the agreed facts.
A woman then tried to interject, but Dean shoved her in the back and she stumbled. The two men restrained the actor until police arrived.
Less than a month later, Dean tried to steal a man’s luxury car while wielding a wine bottle as a weapon.
The agreed facts reveal he approached the owner of an Audi A5 as he was sitting in his car in Botany, in Sydney’s south, on the evening of May 23.
‘Get the f*** out of the car c*** and give me your f***ing keys,’ the former child star demanded.
When the victim told him to ‘f*** off’, the agreed facts state Dean grabbed a full wine bottle out of his satchel and swung it towards the car owner, who leant back to avoid being hit.
The man agreed to hand over the keys but then kicked the actor in the face and the chest, causing him to abandon the carjacking attempt.
The violent incidents both occurred while Dean was serving a good behaviour bond for a previous matter of violence, the court was told.
The documents reveal the 26-year-old had been convicted last year for grabbing the arm of a schoolmate’s dad and demanding he pay his son’s $300 debt.
His lawyer Phoebe MacDougall told the court on Monday Dean didn’t dispute the facts of the offences.
‘He largely doesn’t remember the events, given the drugs he was on at the time, being meth and alcohol,’ she said.
Ms MacDougall explained the child actor had become addicted to illicit drugs following a traumatic event at school which ‘significantly altered his personality during his formative years’.
In a statement provided to NCA NewsWire, Dean explained he ‘resorted to drugs to cope with strong emotions’ following the disturbing occurrence at school.
‘Not only dealing with that, but I was also living on the streets, with the shame of knowing I was recognised because of my time as an actor on TV,’ he said.
Despite this, the actor said he was able to ‘get a hold of (his) substance abuse issues’ and finish school because he was ‘forming (his) own identity outside Home and Away’.
‘Mr Dean, outside his addictions, is a very charismatic and smart young man,’ Ms MacDougall told the court.
She said he was very encouraged by the prospect of engaging in rehabilitation and had tried to enrol himself in a custodial program.
Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court heard the 26-year-old has been diagnosed with substance abuse disorder, depressive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Pictured: Felix Dean
The court heard the 26-year-old has been diagnosed with substance abuse disorder, depressive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Magistrate Robert Williams acknowledged the actor needed ‘quite substantial treatment’ for his addictions, mental health, and his management of stress and anger.
However, he highlighted the previous matters of violence on Dean’s criminal record.
The magistrate accepted none of the four victims were injured in the attacks, but said the ‘serious offences’ would have nonetheless caused the victims to fear for their safety.
‘The court needs to consider the safety of the community,’ he said.
He sentenced Dean to 20 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of one year.
‘I want to apologise to the many people I have hurt and to my mother who has stood by me,’ Dean said in a statement to NCA NewsWire.
The child actor maintained his time on hit soap operas Home and Away had been a ‘positive experience’ but admitted he continues to struggle with the fallout of fame.
‘Ten years on, when even the character has been replaced by multiple actors, I am trying my best to overcome the challenges I have outside of the show,’ he said.
‘I wish nothing more than to be afforded the opportunity to do so without the scrutiny of the public and the media.’
Dean starred on the Channel 7 show between 2007 and 2010, and was nominated for Best Young Actor at the 2008 and 2009 Inside Soap Awards. Pictured: Felix Dean in 2011
It’s been a long time in the limelight for Dean, who rose to prominence when he was only 10 years old.
He got his big break in the role of VJ, the on-screen son of longtime Home and Away cast member Ada Nicodemou.
Dean starred on the Channel 7 show between 2007 and 2010, and was nominated for Best Young Actor at the 2008 and 2009 Inside Soap Awards.
He will be eligible for release from prison in May 2024.
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