Man called ex-partner more than 350 times in breach of order

FEARING he was about to be sent to prison, a Toowoomba man burst into tears as a magistrate sentenced him for 10 breaches of a domestic violence order.

The 51-year-old, who cannot be named due to domestic violence orders, had pleaded guilty to the breaches of the domestic violence order earlier imposed by the same court.

As part of the order, he was not allowed any contact with his ex-partner and could not go within 100m of her workplace or home, police prosecutor Rowan Brewster-Webb told Toowoomba Magistrates Court.

However, over a matter of days in February last year the woman had told police he had made a number of phone calls on successive days.

Those calls had started with a solitary phone call, followed by two calls the next day, then 10 calls, 93 calls, 137 calls, 99 calls, 86 calls and 25 calls over a number of days, the court heard.

The woman said her ex-partner had sounded drunk at times during the calls, the court heard.

The man's solicitor Claire Graham, of Peters Criminal Lawyers, told the court her client had been sentenced for similar offending as well as a charge of stalking for which he had received a term of imprisonment.

These offences predated those for which he had been sentenced and had they been sentenced at the same time her client might not necessarily have received a heavier penalty, she submitted.

Her client had no further offences since those for which he had been sentenced and the relationship with his ex-partner was now at an end, Ms Graham said.

However, Acting Magistrate Lisa O'Neill didn't seem to be in agreement with Ms Graham on penalty and took a brief adjournment to further consider sentence.

Ms O'Neill returned to the court to tell the man his offending had been "a campaign of harassment".

She said the man should have known about complying with such court orders as he had been sentenced in the past.

Ms O'Neill said she didn't agree that if these matters had been dealt with at the same time as the other offences that he wouldn't have received a harsher penalty.

She sentenced the man to three months in jail but wholly suspended the term for 12 months.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. 


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