Case Note – Breaching a DVO with the C-Bomb.

Murray Torcetti Lawyers are criminal lawyers in Caboolture. We write our own case notes from recent criminal decisions for internal purposes.

However, unlike your annoying sibling, we don’t mind sharing.

MS v Commissioner of Police [2020] QDC 51

Facts: A self-represented litigants appeal to the District Court after the Magistrate found that he had contravened domestic violence order.

Domestic violence order had been made with a no-contact condition with the usual carveout exceptions for attending agreed conference, counselling or mediation session and for parental issues directly related to contact with children but only as set out in writing.

The defendant sent an email to the aggrieved solicitor referencing his son is possible mental health concerns but goes further to say things like “I’ll be seeing you cunts in court” and “Gonna fucking destroy every one of you cunts…”.

The defendant appealed on a scattergun approach such as, emergency, a mistake of fact, intention, ignorance of the law, and whether a temporary protection order made was inconsistent with Family Court orders.

Of note, the court noted the word “contravene” is not defined in the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act. The Court looked to the Macquarie dictionary and synthesised the various meaning as being “it is clear to ‘contravene’ an order to ‘be in conflict with’, or ‘go counter to’ or breach the order – in other words, do an act or make admission contrary or two in conflict with the relevant provisions of the order.”

Finding: Some of the email was about the defendant concerned about his son’s mental health, but went far further and contained deeply offensive language about the aggrieved. The email was clearly not for the “sole purpose of communication regarding parental responsibility” – the ground of appeal failed.

Notes for practice: “contravening” means to be in conflict with, go counter to or contravene. Communications under the guise of carveout exceptions should only contain what is directly relevant to the carveout exception and probably not call anybody a “cunt”.

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