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  • Shaun Pascoe

Case study: Make threats to kill

Updated: May 8

Date & location

May 2020, south-eastern suburbs.


Moorabbin Magistrates' Court

Facts & penalties

Our client was charged with Make Threat to Kill arising out of an unfortunate incident where our client had threatened his wife and children. Initially our client was charged with 3 counts of Make Threat to Kill (his wife and 2 children).

In reports to the police, his wife and children told police that when our client made the threat they feared for their safety.

Our client had no prior crimianl offences, and there was no alleged history of family violence.

At the time of the offences our client was suffering from chronic anxiety and depression brought on by several factors, including limited income (on account of the pandemic).

Our client was arrested, and the police issued a family violence safety notice, and later obtained a Family Violence Intervention Order.

The offence of Make Threat to Kill is a serious offence that carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. The offence is frequently heard and finalised the Magistrates Court where a reduced maximum penalty of 2 years applies.

How case resolved

As a result of case conference negotiations, the prosecution agreed to roll-up the 3 offences into a single representative charge of Make threat to kill.

Our client instructed our office to enter a plea of guilty to a single offence of Make threat to kill, and submissions in mitigation were made before the presiding Magistrate.

Sentencing outcome

After hearing a plea in mitigation the Magistrate was persuaded to not to record a conviction and placed our client on an Adjourned Undertaking with conditions including to be of good behaviour, comply with current Intervention Orders, complete a Men's Behaviour Change Program and to contribute $750 to the Court Fund.

Critical to obtaining this outcome for our client was a comprehensive plea that explained the chronology of events leading to the incident. Plea material, including a letter demonstrating our client's unpaid community involvement, and several character references were tendered. Moreover, our client expressed his remorse for his offending.

Call our office if you have to attend Court

If you are charged with Make threat to kill or any criminal offence, early preparation is often key to a successful outcome. Make an appointment on 03 9668 7600 or email us to get expert legal advice from Shaun Pascoe, an accredited criminal law specialist.

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