Man who hospitalised 89-year-old may be mentally unfit

A 34-year-old man who allegedly knocked over an 89-year-old Ballarat man, leaving him with a broken arm will be assessed by a psychiatrist who will decide whether the he is fit to plead guilty.

Kane Turner, who faces a number of charges including recklessly causing serious injury and unlawful assault, appeared briefly before the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

It is alleged Turner knocked over the elderly man who was leaving the Peel Street Coles on November 25 just after 10.30am.

The elderly man was hospitalised and underwent surgery for a broken arm caused during the alleged unprovoked attack.

Turner's lawyer, Mike Wardell, told the court his client's offending had a strong basis around mental illness.

He said his client's mental health played a role in his lack of foresight and concerns were raised about his ability to plead guilty.

The matter was subsequently adjourned to allow a psychiatrist to assess Turner.

Turner was remanded into custody to reappear in court at a later date.