The stepson of a Shellharbour MP who raised his hand at a woman before threatening to "hire someone to kill" her has had his charge dismissed on mental health grounds.
Matthew James Vann, 33, successfully applied to be dealt with under mental health provisions at Wollongong Local Court on Friday, after he confirmed a guilty plea to intimidation in September.
The Albion Park resident, who is the stepson of Labor MP Anna Watson, threatened to slap his then partner at her Sydney apartment on January 21 after he became "increasingly aggressive" during an argument over him refusing to pick up his rubbish.
"You deserve to be slapped across the face," Vann yelled as he raised his hand above his shoulder with an open palm, his aggression causing her to fear for her safety.
As he started packing his belongings to leave he threatened: "Don't forget who my father is ... he's connected to the underworld. I'll hire someone to kill you."
The victim reported the incident to Chatswood Police Station on February 3 and Vann was arrested the next day.
Court documents state Vann has autism and learning difficulties and that he was allowed Ms Watson present as a support person in custody due to his cognitive impairments. He admitted to making the threat during a police interview.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Amelia Wall argued for the matter to be dealt with under law, describing it as a "serious" domestic violence offence.
Defence lawyer Analise Ritchie said the facts were consistent with a person grappling with serious mental issues.
"There is a comment made about his father which is simply not true, he certainly doesn't have those connections reported on the night of the offence," Ms Ritchie said.
Ms Ritchie pointed to a psychologist report which outlined Vann's actions were directly linked to his cognitive impairments, with his inability to foresee consequences connected to his autism spectrum disorder.
Magistrate Michael Ong described the threats as "concerning" and that it was at least likely the victim believed Vann's father was "connected to the underworld".
"They are not insignificant versions of intimidation," he said.
The magistrate balanced other punishment options available and the psychologist reports before him, which outlined a number of provisional diagnoses, and was satisfied Vann could be dealt with under mental health law.
The charge was dismissed and Vann must continue psychological treatment.
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