A rugby league “Immortal” accused of sexually abusing a girl more than 30 years ago has avoided any penalty for failing to appear in court after his solicitor said he was too unwell to sign his bail papers.
Former St George fullback Graeme Langlands was “wheelchair-bound”, suffered severe dementia and lived in a NSW nursing home, the Brisbane Magistrates Court heard this week.
The former captain of the Australian team was charged in October with six counts of indecently dealing with a child under 16, dating back to 1982 on the Gold Coast.
He was issued a summons to appear in Brisbane on Wednesday but defence solicitor Jessica Burke told the court her client was too unwell to travel to court, appear via videolink or even sign his bail papers.
Ms Burke referred to a November 26 letter sent to the Brisbane Magistrates Court, saying Mr Langlands' health had deteriorated significantly in the previous six months.
"It also refers to mobility being poor. He’s generally wheelchair-bound," she said.
"He currently falls when he attempts to walk. He is on medication for stabilisation of mood and behaviour control. He is most definitely not in a fit state to attend court."
The court heard she would make another application for the 76-year-old’s charges to be referred to the Mental Health Court.
A similar application was knocked back last Monday when a magistrate labelled it “premature”.
At the time, magistrate Colin Strofield ruled the matter was not yet technically "before the court" but could be revisited again later.
Mr Langlands’ family said he would fight the charges.
A warrant for Mr Langlands’ arrest was not issued but was left to lie on file in the event Mr Langlands’ poor health was “not established”.
The matter was adjourned until March 12 next year.