Australian Capital Territory

Magistrates' Court

  • TS v PU [2019] ACTMC 22 (12 July 2019) – Australian Capital Territory Magistrates’ Court
    Employment’ – ‘Exposing children to domestic and family violence’ – ‘Final protection order application’ – ‘Firearm’ – ‘Hardship’ – ‘History of domestic and family violence’ – ‘Police domestic and family violence’ – ‘Suicide threat’ – ‘Weapon

    Proceedings: Application for final family violence order (FVO).

    Facts: The male respondent and the female applicant both worked for the Australian Federal Police. An interim FVO prevented the respondent from working as an active officer as he was not allowed use of firearms. The circumstances of the offending included exposing the couple’s child to domestic and family violence, and text messages from the respondent threatening suicide including images of the respondent with a firearm in his mouth.

    Decision and reasoning: A 24-month FVO was granted. In particular, the Magistrate considered the hardship to the respondent in making a FVO but noted at [34]-[35]:

    “Those who have the professional privilege of using and carrying firearms in the workplace know full well that this grant of privilege for firearms can be revoked if their behaviour is inconsistent with a continued grant. The consequential effect of any order made in favour of the applicant relating to depriving the respondent’s ability to access firearms has weighed heavily in this decision. Ultimately, the respondent must take responsibility for his conduct in terms of the professional repercussions he has brought upon himself and the personal (and legal) repercussions caused by involving the applicant in his behaviour. Encouragement of him to so do is expressed in s 6 as an object of the FV Act.

    Bearing all of the issues in mind, I find that in the circumstances of this matter, the level of hardship to the respondent caused by granting a final order does not outweigh the need to grant an order. That is, any s 14 hardship upon the respondent has not outweighed the s 6 and other competing s 14 considerations. I have decided to impose a final order and I turn my mind to the conditions of that order.”

  • Love v Kumar [2018] ACTMC 23 (31 October 2018) – Australian Capital Territory Magistrates’ Court
    Assault’ – ‘Coercive control’ – ‘History of family violence’ – ‘Isolation’ – ‘People from culturally and linguistically diverse background’ – ‘Visa threats

    Charges: Common assault x 5.

    Matter: Judgement.

    Facts: The events relating to the charges took place between 2014 and 2017. The defendant male and complainant female were married and had one child. The 5 assault charges relate to the following alleged incidents:

    1. slapped complainant wife across face
    2. slapped complainant wife across face
    3. struck his child on the her back of shoulder because she was crying;
    4. pushed complainant wife’s forehead backwards striking the wall behind
    5. grabbed complainant wife’s hair and twisted her head and hit her face on wall

    Decision and Reasoning: In relation to charges 1-3, the Magistrate was not satisfied that the case had been sufficiently made out to justify a finding of the accused’s guilt.

    In relation to charges 4 and 5, the Magistrate found the accused guilty.

    Special Magistrate Hunter OAM observed:

    Taken together the evidence if accepted of giving information to officials at Immigration, the refusal to recant that information, the bruise to the head which is consistent with the allegation on 18th and the general information such as not allowing Ms Devi to have a phone, not allow her to contact her brother and the like which could lead to a conclusion that the defendant was controlling her life, (which is not unknown in domestic violence situations). It also leads to a conclusion that Ms Devi is speaking the truth and should be believed. [207]


    I am also satisfied that she had been controlled at least to some extent. That is supported by uncontroverted evidence that she had to secret a SIM card so that she could contact her family and brother by phone. This is consistent with the evidence from her brother that she had no access to contact him except by public phone until he gave her the SIM card. I am also satisfied she had limited access to friends and family. That evidence was corroborated by her brother and by the fact she used the SIM card he gave her to make the various phone calls she made to family and friends. I also note the Defendant had alluded to that control in some of his answers in the ROI such as those referred to by Prosecution counsel in her submissions. [209]

    [Note: This decision was unsuccessfully appealed: Kumar v Love [2019] ACTSC 238 (30 August 2019) – Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court]