THE curtain has been drawn on a long running local court matter with Orange businessman Mick Fabar receiving a short suspended sentence yesterday after pleading guilty to numerous charges of breaching apprehended violence orders.
Fabar, 33, of Gorman Road, put his hand up to seven counts of contravening apprehended violence orders, after police dropped 19 other charges, nearly all of the more serious level of stalking or intimidating a victim.
The court heard evidence the charges related to six telephone calls and one letter, all made or written by Fabar to his former partner.
The matters concerned a period during 2006, when Fabar acknowledged a volatile relationship had existed between himself and his former partner.
Fabar's counsel, barrister Bill Walsh, told the court yesterday his client had simply lost control of his emotions for a time.
Magistrate Jan Stevenson was not impressed with Fabar's admitted behaviour, pointing out he had allegedly rung his former partner nearly 100 times during one month in 2006.
“He was out of control, wasn't he?” Ms Stevenson asked.
Mr Walsh agreed but suggested his client had simply made an error of judgement.
“People of all backgrounds make mistakes, we see it in courts every day, when relationships are involved then emotions run high,” he said.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Mitchell Croyston made his submission on the need for the court to enforce the AVO system.
Sgt Croyston also pushed for imprisonment, saying “a bond would not sheet home to Mr Fabar the consequences of his actions”.
In sentencing, Ms Stevenson said she was obliged to consider a jail sentence for breaches of AVO requirements.
“There must be a general deterrent,” she said.
But she noted that Fabar's matters did not involve violence but “annoying, persistent behaviour”.
And she took into account Fabar's high-profile charity work, particularly for Ronald McDonald House.
Ms Stevenson also took issue with a serving Orange police officer, Constable Leon Corcoran, who had instigated an initial AVO against Fabar but who also had a friendship with the victim.
Mr Walsh, in his submission on the extenuating circumstances for Fabar, had suggested this was a triggering factor in worsening his client's behaviour.
Ms Stevenson, in sentencing referred to the
police officer's actions.
“Flavouring this matter, to some extent, was the gross foolishness of Constable Corcoran in taking out an AVO on behalf of his friend (Fabar's former partner), it was unwise of the constable to do what he did, he should have distanced himself,” she said.
After court proceedings finished yesterday, Fabar issued a statement through his solicitor, Mason Manwaring.
Mr Manwaring said his client wanted to publicly apologise for his mistakes and poor judgement.
But he added that Fabar was disappointed to receive a sentence and was planning to appeal to the District Court.