Caris Nataya Gloria Dorizzi: Woman acquitted of threats to kill partner, arguing it was desperate cry for help

Matthew PaddickGeraldton Guardian
Caris Dorizzi, 36, was cleared by the Magistrate after she was accused of threatening to kill her partner.
Camera IconCaris Dorizzi, 36, was cleared by the Magistrate after she was accused of threatening to kill her partner. Credit: Anna Cox

A domestic violence victim who called triple-0 threatening to kill her abusive partner as a desperate “cry for help” has been acquitted by a magistrate after police charged and prosecuted her.

Caris Nataya Gloria Dorizzi, 36, called triple-0 on May 3, 2023 about 5pm asking for police to attend her home in Cue regarding an incident between her and her partner Quentin Little.

In her triple-0 call which was played at her trial in Geraldton Magistrates Court his week, Ms Dorizzi was heard saying “you better bring police here or I’m going to shoot that motherf.....”.

She made similar requests throughout the call, and a subsequent call back from the operator after the original one was disconnected.

The trial heard evidence that Ms Dorizzi had guns at the property, and kept them locked in a storage compartment.

When police showed up, both Ms Dorizzi and Mr Little were arrested, with Ms Dorizzi needing hospital treatment.

Ms Dorizzi was charged with threatening to kill in circumstances of aggravation, while her partner was charged with one count of unlawful assault and thereby did bodily harm with circumstances of aggravation.

Mr Little’s case was dismissed on January 8, 2024.

The court was told Ms Dorizzi was bleeding and could not hear out of her left ear, with magistrate Sandra De Maio accepting she had been struck with a stick across her face.

Defence lawyer George Giudice argued his client was not making a threat towards Mr Little, rather pleading “cries for help” to get police to the scene faster.

Ms Dorizzi spoke about her past, where she said there had been a history of violent altercations where she alleged her partner both physically and verbally abused her, particularly while under the influence of alcohol.

She acknowledged on the day of the incident, both she and Mr Little had been drinking before the incident.

Meanwhile, police prosecutor Sgt Paul White said the only evidence they wished to provide to the court was the triple-0 call, and would leave it up to the magistrate to deliver her verdict based on the findings.

In delivering a not guilty verdict, Ms De Maio said she had “no doubt” Ms Dorizzi had been the victim of family violence and had concerns for her safety.

She told the court Ms Dorizzi had used the choice of words in desperation, saying “her words were her only defence”.

Following the verdict outside court, Mr Giudice said he hoped the trial would provide an example of how police should not treat domestic violence cases and victims.

“This case should be an example to police of the danger of looking upon women who are defending themselves in domestic violence situations as perpetrators instead of victims,” he said.

“I think they should have a good look at that and amend the protocol calls accordingly. And being on the lookout for signs which show that the person who is behaving to defend herself.

“The arrest of this woman doesn’t do anything to encourage women to ask the police to help them when they’re in a controlled situation by a man.”

A WA Police Force spokesperson said although it was inappropriate to comment on specific cases, they took each case of domestic violence seriously.

“WA Police Force takes all reports of family violence seriously and each investigation, which can be complex in nature, is conducted based on the specifics of each incident,” he said.

“Where a complaint has been made, or there is evidence of a serious offence, it is the duty of police to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support a prosecution, and where there is, unless there are exceptional circumstances they must present such evidence to a court for consideration.

“It is then up to the relevant court to determine the outcome of the matter, taking into account everything that has been presented to the court by all parties involved.”

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