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The District Court did not disturb longer sentences imposed for violating an apprehended violence order and making threats

Ashwani Kumar Misra had a history of stalking his solicitors. On two occasions, he was given good behaviour bonds for violating apprehended violence orders and for stalking. He was charged with new offences and, after pleading guilty, was sentenced to gaol. The District Court heard his appeal in Misra v R [2016] NSWDC 8.

New offences

Misra made a nuisance of himself in a public place. When the police tried to arrest him, Misra resisted, threw a punch at an officer, and made a series of abusive statements. He was convicted of resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. The Local Court imposed a sentence of 3 months for those offences.

The District Court termed that sentence “a little harsh” for relatively minor offences. The District Court would have imposed a 2 month sentence for those offences.

Misra was also sentenced for the violation of an apprehended violence order (AVO). A former solicitor obtained the AVO after Misra persisted in sending him threatening emails. Despite the AVO and despite being convicted of similar violations in the past, Misra left a voicemail for the solicitor threatening to “reign terror” by planting dynamite in his office and turning it into a tomb.

Misra violated section 474.15(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) by using the telephone to threaten serious harm. Misra also violated section 14(1) of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) by contravening the AVO.

Sentence appeal

The Local Court imposed a sentence on the contravention charge of 11 months and set a 7 month non-parole period. The court imposed a concurrent 7 month fixed sentence on the charge of using a telephone to threaten serious harm.

On appeal, Misra explained to the court that he had a drinking problem, that his mother had recently died, that his marriage fell apart, and that his solicitors were not responding to his complaints. He indicated to the court that his behaviour was out of character.

The District Court was reluctant to credit Misra’s claim that his behaviour was out of character, given the prior occasions on which he had stalked and threatened solicitors. On one of those occasions he did so despite being subject to a good behaviour bond at the time. He was also in breach of a good behaviour bond when he left the voice mail.

The District Court found no justification for reducing the sentences imposed for the charges of contravening the AVO or making threats on the telephone. The court did reduce the sentences for the two charges involving the police from 3 months to 2 months to reflect their minor nature.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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