Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court Judge Zion Kapah sentenced movie actor and director Assi Dayan to a one-year suspended sentence after convicting him on charges of assaulting and threatening his girlfriend.
"The defendant has been made to suffer for his actions and the time has come to allow him to return to society and try to rebuild from the rubble of his life," wrote Kapah.
He was referring to the fact that after his arrest on March 28, 2009, Dayan was remanded in custody for 40 days and then ordered to live in the Negev desert for more than four months.
Dayan was arrested for beating his then-girlfriend and threatening her with a kitchen knife.
According to the indictment, to which Dayan pleaded guilty in a plea bargain with the state prosecution, he attacked her twice within 24 hours. The first time, he held her down on the sofa, punched her in the face and grabbed her hair. The second time, he grabbed a kitchen knife which he waved in the air, then chased her through the house and hit her.
"The crimes which the suspect was convicted of are grave," said Kapah.
Nevertheless, he found many reasons to be lenient with Dayan.
"The suspect has many credits in the Israeli cultural world as a script-writer, director and actor," wrote Kapah. "But beyond the allegedly glittering faÃ§ade, as it were, one sees, according to the probation examination, a grim and harsh life over the past years."
Kapah attributed Dayan's violence against his girlfriend to an overdose of Ritlin, a medicine often prescribed for hyper-active people.
"Now," continued Kapah, "one step at a time, the suspect is making his first moves towards rehabilitation and healing. The proper authorities set a clear and defined treatment program for him."
Kapah also ordered Dayan to pay his former girlfriend NIS 2,000 as compensation for his actions and to put up a NIS 5,000 bond as a guarantee that he would not repeat his behavior over the next three years.
The judge also warned Dayan that he was giving him a one-year trial period during which he must prove that he is regularly receiving psychiatric treatment, that he takes regular tests for drugs and that he pays the compensation. If he failed to stick to these condition, Kapah wrote, he reserved the right to implement the suspended sentence.
Dayan said he was "greatly relieved" that he was not sent to jail. "I just want to be normal," he told reporters. "I have never had a more difficult time. I was in detention for a long time and the lesson I learned is not to slap anyone. I am very sorry for what happened."