A MAN who sent threatening messages to two people via Facebook has been convicted and fined a total of $1000.
Bradley Mitchell Love, 23, of Huntingdale Close, Robin Hill, appeared before magistrate Cate Follent in Bathurst Local Court charged with two counts of stalking or intimidating with the intention of causing fear of physical harm.
Love's solicitor Tim Cain asked the court not to convict his client and instead deal with the matter by way of a community release order.
But police prosecutor Sgt Pearce opposed the submission, saying the matter was a serious example of intimidation and the sentence needed to reflect specific and general deterrence, especially with the prevalence of offences on social media.
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The offences related to messages sent at 11.35pm on December 8 and about an hour later on December 9.
The court heard Love lives locally and works for his father as a plumber.
The first victim was at home when she received the message sent by Love via Facebook. The message came from the Facebook user name "Brad Choc Love" and read: "[expletive] you, you're a dog, Kit Kats the man, come to Bathurst I dare ya."
After receiving the message, the first victim contacted the second victim in the matter to talk about what had happened. The second victim told the first victim he had received messages from the same Facebook profile saying "[expletive] you [expletive]" and "dogged the boys hard, come to Bathurst you'll get gutter stomped. Kit Kats the man and your Mrs is a [expletive]".
Magistrate Follent refused to read out the final message written by Love to the victim in open court, saying it was too derogatory.
Both victims made a statement to police, providing screen shots of the messages. Through a Facebook search, police were able to identify the accused.
Love was interviewed and agreed he was the owner of the Facebook page "Brad Choc Love". He also made admissions to sending the messages to both victims. He said he was at the pub talking with friends about one of the victims and, after drinking six beers, made the decision to message because he was "heaps drunk and sent the messages to stir them up", according to the police facts.
References written to the court spoke of Love's remorse and said he never had any intention of following through with the harm threatened.
Despite Mr Cain's submission for a community release order, Ms Follent agreed with Sgt Pearce, saying there was a need for general deterrence given the use of social media to intimidate.
She noted Love was drunk, but said the court couldn't take that into account and it didn't make the offence any less serious.