The son of legendary AFL footy newsman Mike Sheahan drank 30 drinks and took a sleeping pill before stealing an Uber driver’s car during a bizarre meltdown in Sydney.
Tony Sheahan suffered from ‘a form of delusional paranoia’ when he took the vehicle after a hard day of drinking at the Hotel Ravesis on Bondi Beach.
The 45-year-old faced Waverley Local Court on Wednesday, where it was revealed he had been diagnosed with alcohol abuse, anxiety and major depressive illness.
The court heard that Sheahan had been drinking since he was 14, first saw a psychologist at age 15, and was now undergoing mental health treatment.
The son of legendary AFL footy newsman Mike Sheahan had drunk 30 drinks and swallowed sleeping pills before stealing an Uber driver’s car in a bizarre collapse. Tony Sheahan was pictured out of court on Wednesday (right) with his attorney Bryan Wrench
Tony Sheahan suffered ‘a form of delusional paranoia’ when he took an Uber driver’s vehicle after a hard day of drinking at Hotel Ravesis on Bondi Beach
Sheahan was more than three times over the limit when he hijacked Uber driver Janaka Pathirana’s car on Bondi Beach just before Christmas last year.
The sporty gossip columnist wasn’t even licensed when he decided to take off in Mr Pathirana’s Holden Captiva.
Magistrate Ross Hudson outlined the “absolute weirdness” of Sheahan’s behavior on Dec. 10 after hearing statements from attorney Bryan Wrench.
Mr Hudson said Sheahan told a psychologist he drank 30 units of alcohol at Ravesis before having a panic attack and taking a Stilnox tablet.
Sheahan had been prescribed the sleep medication for insomnia, but had caused an “idiosyncratic drug reaction” in addition to all the alcohol.
Tony Sheahan is the son of legendary AFL reporter Mike Sheahan
Mr Hudson said Sheahan left Ravesis on foot and believed he spoke to police near Bellevue Hill on his way home to Double Bay.
AFL ROYALTY: MIKE AND TONY SHEAHAN
Tony Sheahan is the son of respected AFL journalist Mike Sheahan and wrote a gossip column in the Sunday Herald Sun.
Mike Sheahan has been one of Australia’s most prominent AFL commentators for decades, working for newspapers, television and radio.
The media center at AFL House in Melbourne is named in the honor of the 75-year-old.
In 2017, Sam Newman targeted Tony after filming and releasing an exclusive interview that Newman played with underworld identity Mick Gatto.
“This was a private matter… and we’ve let people in there, Tony Sheahan. You’re a piece of shit Tony,” Newman said at the time.
“Mate, you leaked that, you took it and gave it to all the other networks. I know we’ve been telling stories for 24 years and we’ve helped our friends in the media, but Tony Sheahan, you’re a piece of shit.’
At the time Tony had his new paparazzo/gossip site 15minutesofFame.com.au
He began to suffer from ‘a form of delusional paranoia’ and ‘the madness has unraveled’ when he met Mr Pathirana.
The Uber driver had expected to pick up a woman named Louisa at the intersection of Gould and Roscoe Streets in Bondi when the Sunday Herald Sun columnist claimed the ride.
Sheahan was wearing a white T-shirt, gray shorts and a laptop bag when he got into the car.
“Go, go, go,” Sheahan barked when Mr. Pathirana asked the reporter to identify himself.
Mr Pathirana would later tell police that he saw that Sheahan’s eyes were red, his speech was slurred and his reactions ‘listless’.
“The victim also noted that the suspect’s breath smelled of alcohol,” court documents said.
“The victim believed the suspect was heavily intoxicated after noticing his appearance and mannerisms.”
After driving a short distance down the street, the concerned driver asked Sheahan to leave.
‘You have to get out of my car, I have to pick up the right driver,’ pleaded Mr Pathirana.
“Go, go, go,” Sheahan said again. “I’ll pay your money, I’ll pay your money.”
When the driver refused and jumped out of the car, Sheahan followed.
“The suspect followed the victim twice around the vehicle, who was now on triple zero on his cell phone to ask for help,” court documents said.
“The victim took his house keys from the center console of his vehicle before closing all the doors.”
Determined to “go,” Sheahan – who would later record a blood alcohol level of 0.177 – jumped into the driver’s seat and left.
Path of chaos: How Melbourne columnist Tony Sheahan tore Sydney apart on a drunken night out
Armed with the car’s license plate, it would take police just minutes to locate the drunken car thief.
Sergeant Kerri Bennett was searching for the stolen vehicle when she saw it parked on the west curb of Bellevue Road with the headlights off.
As she approached the car, Sheahan paused.
“Sergeant Bennet chased the suspect on foot and called on him to stop,” court documents said.
“The suspect continued on and was arrested a short time later.”
The court ruled that Sheahan had only driven a short distance and parked “remarkably well.”
Tony Sheahan smelled of alcohol when he stole an Uber vehicle and left the driver on the side of the road
Sheahan was breath tested and arrested at the scene before being taken to Waverley Police Station for questioning.
Checks confirmed that Sheahan’s NSW driver’s license expired on August 23, 2018.
Sheahan told police he had drunk a dozen beers since the afternoon and asked to be taken to hospital for a blood test.
Upon his return, police found Sheahan still too drunk to be questioned.
Mr Wrench said his client regularly used Uber for not drinking and driving, and he presented evidence of more than 300 such rides.
He described Sheahan’s “crazy behavior” on the night in question as “completely out of character” and destined to end in his arrest.
Where it all started: Gould Street and Roscoe Street, Bondi Beach
“He’d never get away with it,” Mr. Wrench said. “He would always get caught.”
Police Prosecutor Sergeant Paul Hennigham described the explanation for Sheehan’s behavior as “plausible.”
Mr. Hudson said that while Sheahan had previously self-medicated to deal with his psychological problems, he was now receiving good treatment.
His mental problems had been an ‘ongoing battle’, but he had stopped taking medication and reduced his drinking.
Sheahan had volunteered with the Salvation Army and had seven counseling sessions with Tim Watson-Munro, a noted forensic psychologist.
Mr Hudson said Sheahan told a psychologist he drank 30 units of alcohol at Ravesis before having a panic attack and taking a Stilnox tablet. Ravesis is in the picture
The moment he stole the Uber Sheahan, the actual relationship of the Uber Sheahan was distressed and he was under financial stress. He was suspended by his employer.
Mr. Hudson said Sheahan’s subjective case was “powerful,” that he was on his way to rehabilitation and had shown remorse.
He didn’t charge him for stealing the vehicle, but instead placed Sheahan on 18 months’ bail forcing him to continue treatment. The offense of driving with an expired driver’s license was denied.
Sheahan had pleaded guilty in March to drink-driving, for which he was again given an 18-month parole. His driver’s license was disqualified for six months.
TONY SHEAHAN’S 17 MINUTES BONDI MADNESS
1. 9:49 PM on Friday, December 10, 2021: Uber driver goes from North Bondi to Bondi Beach to drop off a passenger.
2. At the intersection of Gould Street and Roscoe Street, Uber driver Janaka Pathirana will accept a new ride from a person who has made a booking under the name ‘Louisa W’.
3. As Mr Pathirana approaches the intersection of Gould and Hall Street, he turns his Holden Captiva right into Hall Street. Tony Sheahan, standing in Hall Street, approaches the victim’s vehicle, opens the rear passenger door and gets in.
4. Mr. Pathirana drives a short distance and stops at the intersection of Jacques Avenue and Hall Street and asks him to get off.
5. At about 10:06 PM, Sergeant Kerri Bennett is driving Bellevue Road, Bellevue Hill toward Victoria Road when she sees Sheahan parked on the curb of Bellevue Road with the headlights off. She approaches as he tries to run away. He is arrested shortly afterwards.