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Darren Paul Gilchrist: Geraldton man who sent threatening texts to partner sentenced to supervision order

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Fraser WilliamsGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton Courts.
Camera IconGeraldton Courts. Credit: Mal Fairclough/The West Australian

A Geraldton FIFO worker who sent threatening texts to his ex-partner and cut up her clothes has been sentenced to a six-month supervision order.

Darren Paul Gilchrist, 49, appeared in Geraldton Magistrates Court on Monday for sentencing after being convicted last month for destruction of property and making a threat to unlawfully do an act.

Police told the court of messages that Gilchrist had sent over a two-minute period to his ex-partner, containing threats to hurt her.

The court was told Gilchrist and his ex-partner had been in a relationship for two years and there was an argument about the living arrangement.

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Police prosecutor Sgt Paul Burkinshaw said the messages were “very abusive and very threatening”.

“I think it’s too serious for a fine,” Sgt Burkinshaw said.

Gilchrist’s lawyer said though her client used to take meth, it had been out of his life.

“There’s no previous convictions of violence and these are out of character,” she said.

“He had been in a very good state and was in a very good place.”

Gilchrist is a FIFO worker and has a young son that he would give money to his ex-partner to take care of while he was away for work.

The texts message came from the escalation of Gilchrist finding out she had been using the money on clothes and drugs instead and had not been feeding his son, the defence lawyer claimed.

She said Gilchrist had found out his ex-partner was cheating on him and began dealing drugs, and he had found clip-seal bags and scales in the house.

Gilchrist sent the threatening messages over a two-minute period after drinking more then usual, and cut up her clothing.

His lawyer said he accepted the messages he sent and the damage was intentional, saying he felt embarrassed and disgusted by his actions.

“In terms of the messages and actions, it was unthoughtful and shouldn’t have done it,” she said.

Gilchrist’s ex-partner sought a restraining order against him which he accepted, but the court was told that she had since made attempts to contact him.

Magistrate Angus Hockton said that while Gilchrist might have needed to just get the messages off his chest, the victim would be left worrying.

“It might have been your frustrations, but there is that domestic violence aspect to it,” he said.

“The messages are very unpleasant . . . that person probably worried for the next few days about texts.”

Gilchrist does have three children who stay with his brother next door while he is away for work.

“The last thing I want is Mr Gilchrist to lose his employment,” Mr Hockton said.

The court placed him on a six-month supervision order.

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