FIONA Rossiter said yesterday’s comments in Bathurst Local Court by magistrate Michael Allen had strengthened her resolve to continue in political life.
“The court found I had a genuine fear for my personal safety after being threatened by Cyril Smith and Brian Wood that I was digging a hole for myself,” Ms Rossiter said.
Ms Rossiter’s solicitor David King-Christopher said outside Bathurst Local Court yesterday Mr Allen had set parameters and guidelines for the type of behaviour that will not be tolerated of unelected officials seeking to participate in politics.
“His honour in our view rightly found that Mr Rossiter’s distress and anguish after learning of the threat that she was digging a hole for herself was real,” Mr King-Christopher said.
“My view is it is somewhat curious the message delivered in Summer Street about my client digging a hole for herself had to be relayed through various parties instead of the message being put directly to my client face to face.”
He was referring to the message given to councillor Kevin Duffy by Mr Smith in September last year that was then passed on by Mr Duffy to Orange mayor John Davis who relayed it to Cr Rossiter.
This proved to be the catalyst for Ms Rossiter going to Orange police to seek personal apprehended violence orders against Mr Smith and Mr Wood.
Ms Rossiter said yesterday’s court decision sets out guidelines for decent and moral behaviour.
“These guidelines are for unelected so-called community representatives who do not possess their own political compass on what is acceptable and what is unacceptable,” Ms Rossiter said.
Mr Allen said in court the rude and disruptive behaviour directed at then Cr Rossiter from the public gallery by Mr Smith and Mr Wood during council meetings, along with the incident at the bowling club and the Summer Street message, may have led to her decision not to stand for council again.