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  • Writer's pictureShaun Pascoe

Case Study: Make Threat to Kill

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Table of Contents


Date and location of Offence(s)

July 2020, Fitzroy North

Court Venue


Our client was charged with assaulting the complainant. The background to this offence concerned an argument between our client and the complainant at the home they shared.

Our client admitted to police that he slapped the complainant but maintained he was acting in self-defence.

The prosecution summary of events preceding the alleged assault was such that our client acted purely out of anger when an argument between him and the complainant escalated.

The particulars of the assault concerned our client slapping the face of the complainant several times. The prosecution summary did not concede that our client had acted in self-defence.

On a subsequent occasion, again following an argument between our client and the complainant, the police allege our client made threats to kill.


Our client was served with a Charge and Summons to attend the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court to answer the following charges:

  • Recklessly cause injury.

  • Unlawful assault

  • Aggravated assault

  • Make Threat to kill

Factors Relevant to Client

Our client had no previous criminal history and was 57 years old as at the date of the offending. Our client had an excellent employment history.

The need to avoid conviction was of particular concern for our client as he had several directorships that would be adversely impacted should he receive a criminal conviction for an indictable offence.


Following negotiations that were conducted over two contest mentions, the prosecution agreed to withdraw the indictable charges of Recklessly cause injury and Make threat to kill.

Our advice to our client was that a self-defence would be unlikely to succeed given the strength of the prosecution case. Our recommendation to our client in the circumstances was to seek a sentence indication from the Court.

A sentence indication was sought on a charge of Aggravated assault, and our client received an Adjourned Undertaking to be of good behaviour for 12 months and to pay $750 into the Court fund.

This outcome would not have been achieved if negotiations did not result in the withdrawal of the more serious indictable offences of Recklessly cause injury and Make threat to kill.

What was also relevant to the outcome was a concession on the part of our client that his actions whilst seemingly justified at the time, were not proportionate given all the circumstances of the case.

Written by Shaun Pascoe, Director, Pascoe Criminal Law.


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