A Wollongong magistrate has cited the harrowing death of Brisbane mother Hannah Baxter and her three children in deciding to send a repeat domestic violence offender to jail for threatening to kill his ex-partner.
Magistrate Jillian Kiely found Joel Bill posed too much of a risk to the safety of his ex-girlfriend to be allowed to remain in the community after he confessed to sending a death threat to the woman via a handwritten letter while he was in custody on an unrelated charge.
The timing of this matter couldn't be worse given what was in the news yesterday about the mother and her three children who were killed at the hand of an ex-partner and fatherMagistrate Jillian Kiely
The letter, part of which read "...even more of a reason for me to jump all over his f--king head. He is gonna cop it all...I'm gonna kill both you f--king lifes (sic)" was included in a Christmas card addressed to their young son and delivered to her home on December 31
Bill walked free from jail on Tuesday after completing his sentence on the unrelated charges, however was locked up again on Thursday after Magistrate Kiely granted a police application to have him returned to prison.
She said the case of the Baxter family in Queensland, which police suspect was a shocking act of domestic violence perpetrated by the children's father against his kids and wife, was a timely reminder of the potential dire consequences of family violence.
"The timing of this matter couldn't be worse given what was in the news yesterday about the mother and her three children who were killed at the hand of an ex-partner and father," Magistrate Kiely said.
"The court takes death threats very seriously."
She also said Bill faced a long prison sentence for his offence given his history of prior abuse towards the woman.
"The risk [of Bill] committing another offence of domestic violence can't be mitigated by any bail conditions I could impose," she said in ordering him back into custody.
Bill hugged his mother before being led away by Corrective Services staff. He will face sentencing on April 7.