A man who rang his ex-wife in a drunken rage and threatened the "beat the shit" out of her new partner has been given a chance to show he's learnt a lesson and addressed anger and alcohol issues.
The man - who the Mail-Times has chosen not to name to protect the victims' identities - pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to menace at Horsham Magistrates' Court.
The court heard the man's ex-wife moved away from the region with their teenage daughter and later re-married.
The man had restricted contact with his daughter under previous court orders.
Police said the ex-wife's new partner and the teenage daughter got into a "minor physical scuffle as a result of the daughter making threats to self-harm."
The man heard of the "scuffle" through a mutual contact and worked himself into a rage, before ringing his ex-wife late at night.
The ex-wife did not answer the phone, prompting the man to leave a message saying: "I'm going to come down there and f---ing bash the shit out of your new husband if he touches (my daughter) again."
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The court heard the victims did not hear the phone message until a couple of days later but lived in fear the man would still come and harm them.
The man said he did not fully remember leaving the message, but acknowledged the harm he had caused.
"He conceded that if he did do it, it was out of frustration for his daughter's condition or because he had too many beers," the police prosecutor said.
The court heard the man had a violent history and had made threats to harm others in the past.
The defence lawyer said his client acted out of frustration for his living situation.
"He does have that underlying stress factor with his daughter. At the time of the offence, he was drinking and had returned from work interstate. In his words he was 'sick of this shit'," the defence lawyer said.
Magistrate Simon Zebrowski said the man's stress or drinking did not excuse his behaviour.
"I get things are frustrating. Life is frustrating. But this is not a once-off," Mr Zebrowski said.
"We're not savages. We've got to live to certain standards. We can't just do our block every time.
"Ninety-five per cent of the time your client is probably a good bloke. Everyone at work probably thinks he's a ripper.
"The problem is one thing undoes all of that. You don't get good credit.
"There's too much of this happening in society. They act like people in movies. 'I'm angry, so I'm justified to belt someone or abuse them'. They don't think about the consequences."
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The man told the court he called to apologise to his ex-wife and her partner, and was intent on improving his behaviour so he could be reunited with his daughter.
"Everyone in your position, they all tell me 'never again, I've learnt'. If that were true, the crime rate here would be halved," Mr Zebrowski said.
The magistrate adjourned the matter so the man had a chance to show he'd learnt his lesson.
"I'm not going to tell you what to do, but impress me. You're going to work out a plan for yourself, and you're going to impress me," Mr Zebrowski said.
"You're going to impress on me that you have learnt a lesson."
The man will re-appear at court later in the year.
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