A LONG history of charity work and six nights spent in custody because bail was refused during the Christmas - New Year period helped Michael John Fabar have his sentence reduced yesterday.
Fabar, 34, received a six month suspended sentence in Orange Local Court earlier this year after pleading guilty to seven charges of breaching an apprehended violence order (AVO).
But that was successfully downgraded to an 18 month good behaviour bond after an appeal to Orange District Court yesterday.
Two years ago Fabar, of Gorman Road, made six phone calls and wrote a letter to a former employee, who had taken an AVO out against him.
The letter was sent after Fabar had made four complaints to police about the woman, but they were not proceeded with because of 'public policy reasons', the court heard.
When the case was before Orange Local Court in February it was also established the woman had a friendship with an Orange police officer, who took the AVO out on her behalf.
Justice Coolahan said these were serious allegations.
“They are serious, but I am told they are being investigated by the Police Integrity Commission,” Justice Coolahan said.
“[The letter was] as a result of the frustration felt at the time. It is not an excuse, but it puts it into context.”
On December 28, 2006, Fabar was arrested for the AVO breaches and after being refused bail in Parramatta Local Court spent six nights in jail because courts were closed over the holiday period.
Fabar's counsel, barrister Bill Walsh, said the time in custody had been a “frightening” experience for Fabar, who had never spent time in jail before.
“They were annoying and persistent phone calls, there's no doubt about that,” Mr Walsh said. “But the phone calls did not involve any violence and in only a few phone calls was any contact made.
“These matters are at the lesser end of the scale.
“Since that time there has been no more offences and the chances of re-offending are very slim."
But the court also heard that Fabar went to great lengths not to be detected, such as calling from public phones or using new SIM cards.
Justice Coolahan noted Fabar's standing within the Orange community, such as his charity work for Ronald McDonald House.
“It does not place him above the law, but he is a good character with significant contributions to the community and the last offence was out of frustration,” Justice Coolahan said.
“It should be noted that this sentencing option is still a significant punishment for someone with such a high standing in the community.”
Justice Coolahan said Fabar was not suitable for a community service order because of the amount of charity work he already does.