A former star of Home and Away was sentenced to prison for attacking three people and trying to steal a car by using a wine bottle as a weapon, exposing his troubles.
Felix Dean used an audiovisual link to appear in Sydney Downing Centre Local Court on Monday. There, he entered a guilty plea to three counts of common assault, assault with intent to rob, and violating a prior court order.
The 26-year-old, who had been sentenced to at least a year in prison for his drug-fueled crime spree, was wearing prison greens and had an apprehensive expression on his face.
When he approached a stranger for “unclear reasons” outside a restaurant in Newtown, Sydney’s inner west, on April 31, the court heard he was under the influence of drugs and “heavily intoxicated.”
‘I’ll crush you,’ said Dean, who gained popularity as the young VJ Patterson on the popular television series Home and Away, at the man as they passed each other in the street.
Dean shoved the man back a few metres when he spun around and attempted to hit him in the face.
When another man moved in, Dean gave him a hard shove in the chest and then punched him, which the man avoided.
As per the agreed facts, he and Dean’squared up to one another’ and assumed boxing stances while attempting to hit one other.
Then someone started to say something, but Dean pushed her from behind, making her stumble. Until the cops arrived, the two men had the actor in restraint.
A man’s fancy car was attempted to be stolen by Dean less than a month later, and he used a wine bottle as a weapon.
According to the agreed facts, he approached the owner of an Audi A5 on the evening of May 23 when he was seated in his vehicle in Botany, in the southern suburbs of Sydney.
The former child star yelled, “Get the f* out of the car c* and give me your f***ing keys.”
The agreed facts suggest that Dean flung a full wine bottle out of his backpack towards the car owner, who leant back to avoid being hit, after the victim told him to “f*** off.”
The actor gave up on the carjacking attempt after the man gave him a kick to the face and chest even after he had agreed to give up the keys.
The court was informed that both of the violent episodes took place while Dean was on a good behaviour bond for an earlier violent incident.
According to the court records, the 26-year-old was found guilty of seizing the father of a classmate by the arm and forcing him to pay his son’s $300 bill.
Phoebe MacDougall, his attorney, informed the court on Monday Dean did not contest the offences’ facts.
Given the drugs he was using at the time—meth and alcohol—he mainly doesn’t remember the events, she added.
According to Ms. MacDougall, the young actor developed an addiction to illegal drugs as a result of a traumatic school incident that “significantly altered his personality during his formative years.”
In a statement to NCA NewsWire, Dean said that after the upsetting incident at school, he “turned to drugs to cope with strong emotions.”
“In addition to coping with that, I was homeless and ashamed that people knew who I was from my TV acting career,” he remarked.
In spite of this, the actor claimed that because he was “forming (his) own identity outside Home and Away,” he was able to “get a hold of (his) substance abuse issues” and complete his education.
“Mr. Dean is a very charming and intelligent young man, outside of his addictions,” Ms. MacDougall testified before the court.
She claimed that he had attempted to enrol himself in a correctional programme because he was greatly encouraged by the idea of participating in rehabilitation.
The 26-year-old was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance addiction problem, the court was informed.
It was accepted by Magistrate Robert Williams that the actor required ‘quite extensive treatment’ for his mental health, addictions, and stress and anger management.
Nonetheless, he emphasised the violent incidents from Dean’s past that were on his criminal record.
Although the magistrate acknowledged that none of the four victims had been hurt in the attacks, she stated that the victims would nonetheless have been afraid for their safety due to the “serious offences.”
He declared, “The court must take the community’s safety into account.”
Dean was given a sentence of twenty months in prison and a year of non-parole.
In a statement to NCA NewsWire, Dean said, “I want to apologise to the many people I have hurt and to my mother who has stood by me.”
The young actor insisted that working on the popular serial operas Home and Away had been a “positive experience,” but he acknowledged that the consequences of his popularity still get to him.
“I am making every effort to overcome the challenges I face outside of the show ten years later, even though the character has had multiple actors play it,” he stated.
“All I want is to be given the chance to do this without having to deal with public and media scrutiny.”
Since he first gained notoriety at the age of ten, Dean has spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight.
His breakthrough performance came as VJ, the fictional son of seasoned Home and Away star Ada Nicodemou.
Between 2007 and 2010, Dean appeared in the Channel 7 series. In 2008 and 2009, he received nominations for Inside Soap Awards’ Best Young Actor category.
In May 2024, he will be qualified for prison release.