Top doctor fined over estranged wife

The doctor engaged by Australia's leading aviation and motorsports bodies has been fined $1500 for breaching a court order against approaching his estranged wife.

Allan Bernstein is the designated medical examiner for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the Confederation of Australian Motor Sports.

Dr Bernstein, 56, pleaded guilty yesterday to two charges of breaching an intervention order police obtained on behalf of his wife. The order  imposed conditions that included not going within 200 metres of her house.

Stalking, burglary and criminal damage were among 28 other charges withdrawn by police and struck out by magistrate Duncan Reynolds, who did not convict Dr Bernstein.

Melbourne Magistrates Court heard yesterday that after the order was imposed in July last year, Dr Bernstein twice got his father to leave items in his wife's letterbox.

Sergeant Mark Ridgeway, prosecuting, said one was a CD of family photographs while the other was the DVD, Seven Secret Treasures, by Dr John Demartini.

Sergeant Ridgeway said Dr Bernstein's wife was "emotionally stressed'' and on medication because of the family difficulties.

Defence counsel Vincent Morfuni, SC, with Tony Burns, said the couple had experienced difficulties in their marital breakdown.

Mr Morfuni said Dr Bernstein, who has four children from two marriages, and his wife were separated but had lived under the same roof before she sought an "exclusive occupancy''.

There followed difficulties organising pick up and drop off times for Dr Bernstein and his younger children that led to his "misguided'' actions.

Mr Morfuni said Dr Bernstein hoped the "family snapshots might ameliorate the situation'' and that the DVD, which he hoped would help with the couple's communication problems, was left  "in the best interests of them and the children''.

He told the court the object of Dr Demartini's DVD was to show that "without communication you can't survive in this world''.

Dr Bernstein, who practises in Carlton, is a pilot, member of the Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine and a fellow of the Scotch College Foundation.

Mr Morfuni said his client had been a doctor for 30 years and had led an unblemished professional and personal life.