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Hidden meaning in trans activist’s court suit

COURT Isaiah Firebrace
The charges against transgender activist Deni Todorovic have been dismissed on mental health grounds. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles

Transgender activist Deni Todorovič said he is “tremendously grateful” charges against them were dismissed pursuant to mental health provisions after they destroyed property at a five-star hotel and smashed the windscreen of a car.

The stylist, who is non-binary, appeared in Sydney Downing Centre Court on Wednesday to fight two charges of destroying property and one charge of entering private property without a lawful excuse.

They were dressed conservatively in a $60 grey striped suit from Target over a grey T-shirt, paired with towering purple designer heels, an outfit they said held special meaning on the day.

COURT Isaiah Firebrace
Trans activist and author Deni Todorovic has been cleared of property destruction and trespassing on mental health grounds. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles

The court heard the 35-year-old was “reckless” when they threw their phone and smashed the windscreen of a black Volkswagen van just after 7am on March 6.

Minutes later, the court documents reveal they entered the premises of the luxurious Pullman Hyde Park hotel and destroyed a vase.

Outside court, the former Cosmopolitan style editor told NCA NewsWire the charges related to their attempt to end their life on the final night of the Sydney World Pride event.

“Thank god no one was hurt,” they said.

Magistrate Ian Guy concluded Todorovič “irresistibly” met the criteria for a dismissal of the charges on mental health grounds.

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They wore a $60 charcoal suit from Target paired with designer purple heels. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NCA NewsWire Photos - 03 JULY, 2023: Queer influencer and author Ratko Denis "Deni" Todorovic appeared in Burwood Local Court in Sydney on July 3, 2023. Picture: NCA NewsWire
The former fashion editor was relieved at the court decision. Picture: NCA NewsWire

“Clearly at the time there were a complex emotional set of issues that were operating,” he said.

Todorovic’s lawyer Paul McGirr told the court his client had “certainly done his homework” in terms of engaging with mental health treatment since the offending.

He said Todorovic had pleaded guilty to the charges and agreed to pay compensation for the damage done to the van and the luxury hotel in Sydney’s CBD.

Magistrate Guy described the offences as being at the “very low end” of the scale and determined they wouldn’t have warranted a conviction.

He dismissed the charges and ordered Todorovič to pay more than $525 to the owner of the damaged car.

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They were supported in court by their mother. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles

“The matters go away but there are strings attached,” the magistrate warned.

He directed Todorovič to continue to engage with mental health treatment and not to commit any further offences.

The former Seafolly ambassador told NCA NewsWire they were relieved at the outcome.

“I feel very grateful that the magistrate holds space – and takes very seriously – mental health,” they said.

“Today’s hearing reaffirmed to me that these legislations are put into place for a reason and mental health is something that needs to be taken incredibly seriously.”

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The charges against the author have been dismissed on mental health grounds. Picture: Caroline McCredie/Getty Images
Supplied Editorial SEAFOLLY X DENI. Picture: instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CpWqM-QMl7i/?hl=en
They have been directed to continue engaging in mental health treatment. Picture: Instagram

The transgender activist said they were grateful to Magistrate Guy for his “empathy” and that it had been “incredibly affirming” to have their efforts to seek treatment for mental health acknowledged.

“The last 12 months have taught me that my mental health has to come first before I can advocate for anyone else,” they told NCA NewsWire.

Earlier this year, Todorovic spent time at a facility on the NSW south coast for help with their mental health.

Todorovič said their outfit on Wednesday was a nod to their time at the hospital, where they learned to “sit in the grey” of their emotions to confront them.

The 35-year-old said they were “tremendously grateful” for the court ruling, which was “an opportunity to start fresh.”

“Today marks a significant moment on my mental health journey and the overall journey of what has been a truly trauma-filled first half of 2023,” they wrote on Instagram.

“A new chapter of healing and anchoring and new beginnings.”

They revealed they will be moving to Sydney in the coming weeks.