A FORMER Australian Navy serviceman described as a "humoured gentle peacemaker" has avoided conviction for grabbing a shovel and threatening to break into a woman's house.
However, he was placed on a conditional release order for two years after the incident left the victim frightened.
The Turvey Park man, who served for 12 years in the navy, appeared in Wagga Local Court on Monday after pleading guilty to intimidating with the intention to cause fear of physical harm.
Court documents state that the man went to Mangoplah on March 3 this year to see the victim regarding a letter from her solicitor.
After the victim told him to go away and cool off so they could talk about it later, the man picked up a shovel from the back veranda and waved it at the back door saying "open the door".
The man then made his way into the house and said "I'm going to snap the handle," referring to the bedroom door.
The victim, who had locked herself in a bedroom, was crying on the phone to police and on hearing this, the man left the location.
After speaking to the victim, police spoke with the man at his home where they also seized three firearms and suspended his firearm licence.
It's completely at odds with the person who turned up with a shovel threatening to break down a door.Magistrate Christopher Halburd
In court, defence lawyer Zac Tankard said the actions of his client were out of character as he also works with people with disabilities and volunteers in the community.
"This type of conduct is absolutely outside of the scope that [the offender] would normally partake in," Mr Tankard said.
"He has absolutely no record [of violence]."
Mr Tankard said the incident occured in the context of a breakdown in a significant relationship between his client and the victim.
Mr Tankard also said his client expressed remorse immediately after the incident and that he has taken steps toward rehabilitation by seeing his GP for a mental health plan.
However, police prosecutor Priscilla Jones said that while she noted the explanation about his character, the circumstances show otherwise.
"In regards to the situation with him picking up the shovel and presenting himself at the door...for the lady, it would have been an extremely terrifying situation," Sergeant Jones said.
Magistrate Christopher Halburd said it was impossible to reconcile the differences between the character reference letters and the police documents outlining the incident.
"It's completely at odds with the person who turned up with a shovel threatening to break down a door," Mr Halburd said.
"This [incident] was a complete aberration."
The conditions of his order include adhering to a mental health plan and the man also had an apprehended violence order imposed on him.
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