A woman who was accused of threatening a South Coast politician had a charge dismissed under the Mental Health Act.
Peta Lyn Currie, 55, was dismissed by Magistrate McGowan at a hearing in Milton Local Court on Thursday.
The Sanctuary Point woman was charged with using a carriage service to harass, menace or offend and stalk/intimidate intend physical harm against South Coast MP Shelley Hancock.
Police alleged Currie rang the MP’s Nowra office about 2.46pm on June 21, 2017, and said to a staff member “tell Shelley to say goodbye to her family” before hanging up.
Police prosecutor sergeant Paul Bush agreed with two witnesses that Ms Currie was suffering from a form of anxiety and that the case may be “appropriate” to deal with under section 32” (Mental Health Act).
Magistrate Susan McGowan said the court had to exercise its discretion when approving or denying section 32 applications.
Magistrate McGowan said she was not of the view that the threat was at the high end of offending.
“[It was] conceded by the prosecution that Ms Currie was mentally ill at the time of offence,” Magistrate McGowan said.
“The community would expect it would be appropriate for Ms Currie to be diverted from the criminal justice system.”
The carriage service charge was dismissed and dealt with under section 20 BQ of the Crimes Act while the stalk/intimidate charge was dismissed conditionally under section 32 of the Mental Health Act.
Police had taken out an apprehended violence order against Currie, naming Mrs Hancock as the person in need of protection.
Magistrate McGowan ordered the AVO to remain in place for a further six months after the hearing date.