A suspended producer for Channel 9’s Today show, who is charged with sexual assault, has asked a magistrate to let him use social media again.
A suspended producer for Channel 9’s Today show, who is charged with sexual assault, has asked a magistrate to let him use social media again.

Today producer’s court warning

A producer for Channel 9's Today show who allegedly raped a woman after a night on the town needed a court-ordered curfew scrapped so he could "maintain his life", a court has heard.

Tom Nicol appeared before Waverley Local Court on Tuesday where his bail was varied to allow him outside his Bondi home after 8pm, in return for an extra day of reporting to police and submitting himself to drug and alcohol testing.

Today's former supervising producer, who was released on bail in February, was warned he faced going back into custody if he failed any tests for booze or illicit substances.

Mr Nicol failed in an attempt to regain access to his social media accounts, however, with his lawyer Penny Musgrave arguing they held information crucial for his case.

Today show producer, Thomas Joseph Nicol (centre) with lawyer Penny Musgrave (left). Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short
Today show producer, Thomas Joseph Nicol (centre) with lawyer Penny Musgrave (left). Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short

The 32-year-old is charged with sexual intercourse without consent and stands accused of assaulting a woman at his eastern suburbs home after a night drinking on January 29.

The court heard on Tuesday the alleged victim became highly intoxicated, putting her in a state of "considerable vulnerability", and drugs may have been consumed on the night.

Mr Nicol "strongly" denies the claims of assault and has pledged to defend the allegations in court. He has been stood down by the TV network.

Ms Musgrave had argued the curfew - which required him to be home between 8pm and 6am each night - did not mitigate the risk of reoffending, as the incident allegedly occurred inside Mr Nicol's residence.

The Bondi man has stated he will defend the charge in court. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short
The Bondi man has stated he will defend the charge in court. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short

She said the condition was onerous as he faced a lengthy period until court proceedings were concluded.

"He needs to go out in order to maintain his life over the next two years, Your Honour," Ms Musgrave said.

Magistrate Carolyn Hunstman said it appeared the curfew had been imposed on Mr Nicol's release in order to prevent further alleged offending "by repeating a night out".

"And I guess that was the concern for the magistrate (who set the condition), to avoid those very same circumstances being in play," she said.

She deleted the curfew and accepted Mr Nicol's offer to add an extra day of reporting to Bondi Beach police station in return.

Ms Musgrave also argued her client should be able to access his accounts so he could retrieve "historic" data involving the complainant.

"I need him to access it in order to give me instructions … on the past history of the complainant," she said.

"There is contextual work that needs to be done and I can't rely on the investigators to do that."

Tom Nicol was the supervising producer on Channel 9’s morning show.
Tom Nicol was the supervising producer on Channel 9’s morning show.

Ms Musgrave said Mr Nicol would not "stalk" or contact the alleged victim online if his social media privileges were returned.

Magistrate Hunstman was not persuaded and said the ban should remain to ensure the safety of the community and the alleged victim.

She asked Mr Nicol to stand when explaining she had set down his new reporting day on a Saturday so police could monitor his abstinence from all drugs and alcohol.

Under the new terms of his bail he must submit himself for testing if police have a reasonable suspicion of intoxication.

"I can tell you if you test positive they will be detaining you and custody will be the likely outcome on a detention application," the magistrate told him.

Mr Nicol's matter will return to court in May.

Originally published as Today producer's court warning



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