Craig Nicholls, frontman of Australian rock act the Vines, was cleared of assault and damage charges in Sydney last Friday (Nov. 19) after his lawyer revealed that the singer was mildly autistic.

Craig Nicholls, frontman of Australian rock act the Vines, was cleared of assault and damage charges in Sydney last Friday (Nov. 19) after his lawyer revealed that the singer was mildly autistic.

Nicholls was accused of kicking Janie Barrett -- a photographer for the Sun-Herald newspaper -- during a Sydney performance in May.

Nicholls' lawyer told Balmain Local Court that the artist was recently diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a neurobiological disorder whose symptoms include eccentric and absent-minded behavior.

Magistrate Susan Seagrave dismissed all charges on condition that Nicholls continue taking medication for the disorder.

The Vines have not played since the Annandale Hotel performance. Their management company, Sydney-based Winterman & Goldstein, deny speculation that the band has split.

The Vines' debut album "Highly Evolved" has sold 1.5 million units globally, according to their Australian record label EMI Music Australia. The 2004 follow up, "Winning Days," failed to maintain the momentum.