Tennis star Bernard Tomic's father guilty of assault

  • 6 September 2013
  • From the section Asia
Thomas Drouet leaves a court house bandaged and wearing a neck brace in Madrid on 6 May 2013.
Image caption Thomas Drouet suffered extensive injuries because of the assault

The father of Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic has been sentenced to eight months in prison for assaulting his son's training partner before the Madrid Open in May.

John Tomic head-butted Thomas Drouet, who suffered a broken nose.

John Tomic claimed he was acting in self-defence.

Under Spanish law, John Tomic will not go to prison because he has no criminal record and his sentence is for less than two years.

Australian media has reported that he is likely to be banned from all Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tournaments following his conviction.

The ATP had already banned him pending the outcome of the court case and said on Friday that its initial 12 month suspension from the tour remained in place, but that there was no change to their position at this time.

Image caption Bernard Tomic is regarded as one of Australia's most promising young tennis stars

Mr Drouet, 30, from Monaco, welcomed the sentencing as "good news".

"He should never be allowed to attend matches again," he told Australian media.

Last month a court in Madrid heard how Mr Drouet, who had been a member of Bernard Tomic's team for seven months, had complained about John Tomic.

He was assaulted at a hotel in Madrid when John Tomic asked him "to step aside for a quiet word".

Mr Drouet said that he was expecting to receive an apology, but instead John Tomic spat in his face and head-butted him.

He suffered a broken nose, bruised vertebrae and had to have corrective surgery.

Bernard Tomic, 20, is ranked at number 52 in the world by the ATP.

One of the highlights of his career so far was a quarter-final appearance at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships.

In November he was fined and put on a 12-month good-behaviour bond after twice being stopped by police for driving offences near his Gold Coast home.

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