The threat to burn the victim's dog wasn't taken as a joke by the victim
The threat to burn the victim's dog wasn't taken as a joke by the victim CONTRIBUTED

Threat to burn partner's dog no joke

A MAGISTRATE wasn't buying a man's excuse that a threat to burn his partner's dog during an argument was a joke, and sentenced the man to at least four months behind bars this week.

Mitchell Murry, 28, appeared via audio-visual link in Grafton Local Court on Monday and pleaded guilty a charge of stalk/intimidate intend fear of physical harm.

According to police facts tendered to the court, on the night of Monday September 17 this year, Murry and the victim were drinking together at the victim's property when an argument started.

The victim locked herself in a caravan on the property, and at some point Murry made a threat to burn the victim's dog and smash the caravan door or window. The victim left the caravan and locked herself in a shed and called 000.

Murry forced the locked door open and entered the shed, and the victim used her shoulder to push past Murry as she went to the neighbour's property for help. The victim returned to her property a short time later, with neighbours also calling 000 and reporting loud banging and yelling.

When police arrived Murry admitted the pair were having an argument, and that he took her keys from her so she wouldn't drive after drinking.

Murry also stated the threat to burn the victim's dog was a joke.

In Grafton Local Court on Monday, Murry's defence solicitor Greg Coombes argued his client's actions were not a direct act of physical violence, and while he conceded the threat to burn the victim's dog wasn't taken as a joke by the victim he submitted the offence fell short of the threshold required for a prison sentence.

Magistrate Karen Stafford, however, did not agree, and said while Murry thought it was joke, he wanted the victim to take it seriously at the time.

Ms Stafford said the offence was aggravated by the fact Murry was on a good behaviour bond at the time, and there was a need to protect the community and denounce Murry's conduct.

Murry was sentenced to eight months jail, with a non-parole period of four months, and will be eligible for release in January.



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