Reuters reported earlier today that John Tomic, father and coach of Australian WTP tennis Pro Bernard Tomic (Player Info), has been sentenced to eight months in prison. He was convicted of assaulting one of Tomic’s hitting partner in an incident in a Madrid street earlier this year. The sentence was handed down at a Spanish court on Friday.
The court was told that the 49-year-old, whose defence revolved around acting in self-defence, head-butted Thomas Drouet. Mr Drouet suffered a broken nose as a result of John Tomic’s alleged attack. He has five days to appeal the sentence, but a Spanish Civil was quoted as saying that he would most likely not serve jail time regardless of any inpending appeal.”In Spain nobody goes to jail unless their sentence is at least two years,” the official told Reuters.
A former taxi driver born in Bosnia, Tomic tangled with Drouet during the Madrid Masters in which Bernard was competing. The incident led to the older Tomic being suspended from ATP events. Shortly before the head-butting incident, Tomic had told him Mr Drouet he was sacked and would not be getting paid. A public fight ensued. Drouet told the reporters “He (Bernard) spat in my face, then walked away and said he wouldn’t pay me any more. “I said, ‘Okay, John, you are a real man. That’s fine. Bernard will pay me’. And he head-butted me.” Tomic’s Spanish lawyer, Carmen Dieguez, told reporters that while her client did not dispute that he had caused Drouet’s injuries, Drouet had grabbed him by the arms initiating the struggle. It was not the first time they had clashed, she added.