Bernard Tomic’s father claims butt ‘self defence’

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Bernard Tomic’s father John told a Madrid court yesterday he had acted in self-defence when he butted a member of the Australian world No 53’s coaching staff in the face at the weekend.

John Tomic, a burly former taxi driver who now coaches his son, and the man he tangled with, Bernard’s practice partner Thomas Drouet, both turned up for the hearing in the Spanish capital.

Drouet had a large dressing fixed to his nose with white surgical tape and a neck support, while Tomic appeared unscathed apart from a small cut above his right eye and the pair sat about 15 metres apart outside the courtroom.

After consultation with the judge, it was decided that because Tomic disputed the charge of causing bodily harm the hearing could not take place and a further court appearance for the pair was scheduled for 14 May, court officials said.

“I don’t feel guilty, I didn’t do anything wrong,” said a weary-looking Tomic.

He could be handed a prison sentence of up to three years and a possible fine if found guilty.