COURT: Man freed after threatening to kill magistrate

A MAN who threatened to kill a Hervey Bay magistrate has been released after serving just four and a half months jail time for the threat.

Peter James Connor pleaded guilty in the Maryborough District Court on Thursday to threatening a judicial officer.

A schedule of facts tendered to the court said Connor made the threats to Magistrate Graeme Tatnell on March 26 this year.

Mr Tatnell had explained to Connor he was unable to apply for bail a second time in the magistrates court and would have to make an application to the Supreme Court.

"Connor said 'That's fine. That's fine, because my wife is having an operation. If she dies, I'll kill you'," the document read.

During the in court confrontation, Connor called Mr Tatnell "scum" and told him he could "go to hell".

The scheduled notes Mr Tatnell was not surprised by Connor's actions but was concerned for the wellbeing of himself and his family.

Connor later wrote a handwritten letter of apology to Mr Tatnell a few days later on March 31.

In the letter Connor said he had no ill will towards Mr Tatnell or his family and did not wish to harm him.

Crown prosecutor Susan Hedge said the threat to kill a magistrate was one of the "most serious" as far as threats are concerned.

Defence barrister Paul Rutledge said Connor had been remorseful since the incident which was shown in his letter of apology.

He said the threat was made in the heat of the moment.

Mr Rutledge said Connor had a bad childhood and his father was in prison for murdering his mother and an ex-girlfriend.

He said the original charge Connor was facing was for assaulting police which resulted in a $900 fine.

Judge Michael Noud allowed Connor to go free, sentencing him to 144 days jail which had already been served in pre-sentence custody.



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