Man avoids jail time for stalk/intimidate and contravene Apprehended Violence Order (‘AVO’) due to his unstable psychological state

Police charged David with contravene AVO and stalk/intimidate which together carry a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment. David’s criminal history contained numerous convictions for these same charges. Would his psychological state help him in his sentencing?’

Background: man breaches AVO

Mental Health ordersThe background to the offending was he was in an intimate relationship with the victim for approximately 10 months. The relationship ended and the victim had police take out an AVO against David. However, he returned to the victim’s residence and placed a letter under her door. David also frequented the victim’s residential and work addresses on numerous occasions.

The victim reported all this to the police. Consequently, they charged David. He pleaded guilty to both charges and his matter proceeded to sentencing. At the sentencing the Magistrate informed our client that it is highly likely that he would receive a custodial sentence. I.e., he would go to jail.

Issue: Should David go to jail or was his psychological state significantly affecting him?


Outcome: Psychological state lessens his sentence

Our criminal solicitor commissioned a Psychologist Report and tendered it as evidence. The solicitor also tendered a letter from David’s sister. What the Report and letter demonstrated is that David suffered from substance misuse, physical abuse, and poor attachment to parental figures which affected his social and emotional wellbeing.

The Magistrate took this into consideration and withdrew her view that David should go to jail. Instead, she sentenced him to a 12-month Community Corrections Order (‘CCO’).

David was pleased with the outcome and remained in the community to receive the required treatment for his issues.

*We change names to protect client confidentiality 

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O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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