Man freed after threatening to kill magistrate

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Peter James Connor, who threatened to kill a Hervey Bay magistrate, has been release from prison after serving four months jail time.

Connor, who pleaded guilty to threatening a judicial officer in the Maryborough District Court yesterday, made the threats to Magistrate Graeme Tatnell on March 26 when he was facing an assaulting police charge, resulting in a $900 fine.

“That’s fine.  That’s fine, because my wife is having an operation.  If she dies, I’ll kill you’,” Connor said after Tatnell explained that he could not apply for bail a second time in the magistrates court and would have to make an application to the Supreme Court.

He called Tatnell ‘scum’ and told him he could ‘go to hell’, according to a report by the Fraser Coast Chronicle.  He wrote Tatnell a hand-written apologies a few days after, saying he did not wish to harm him.

Connor’s defence barrister said Connor had been remorseful since the incident and that the comments were made in the heat of the moment.  He told the Maryborough District Court that
Connor had a bad childhood and that his father was in prison for murdering his mother and an ex-girlfriend.

According to the Fraser Coast Chronicle, Judge Michael Noud allowed Connor to go free, sentencing him to 144 days jail which had already been served in pre-sentence custody.