Appeal Type: Police appeal against a Magistrate’s refusal to confirm an interim intervention order.
Facts: The Magistrate refused to confirm an interim intervention order which had previously been made ex parte against the respondent in favour of his former de facto partner. At trial, there were disputed facts regarding various prior incidents of physical and verbal abuse. The Magistrate made no findings of fact about these incidents.
Decision and Reasoning: The appeal was upheld.
The Court found the Magistrate erred in finding that there was no reasonable suspicion in the circumstances. There is no requirement that the facts found by the Magistrate themselves constitute an act of abuse, that they be recent or that they occur before or after a relationship breakdown. An order could be made based on a statement of intention to commit an act of abuse, no matter who that statement was made to. While the timing of the acts is relevant, Kourakis CJ stated that depending on the circumstances, an event many years earlier could constitute a reasonable suspicion (See at -). A reasonable suspicion will include a suspicion that the ‘defendant will act in a certain way’ and a suspicion that those acts would have the prescribed effect on the protected person of something more than a trivial kind (See at ). In this case, the respondent’s former de facto partner had anxiety that the respondent may kill her. This was not trivial and the Magistrate had erred in finding it was.Kourakis CJ then made several factual findings including that the appellant used a knife and verbally abused his former de facto partner and therefore found that the prescribed reasonable suspicion under the Act existed. His Honour then found that it would be appropriate in the circumstances to make the order.