Father causes school lockdown – no contact

Father causes school lockdown

Nettles & Nettles [2016] FamCA 13 (22 January 2016)

Last Updated: 8 February 2016


FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Interim Parenting – Parental responsibility – With whom the child lives – With whom the child spends time with – Where the father is currently in custody – Where the father has been charged with a number of offences and engaged in violent behaviour and illicit drug use – Best interests of the child – Mother to have sole parental responsibility and child to live with the mother.
Deiter & Deiter [2011] FamCAFC 82
George & George [2013] FamCAFC 182
Goode and Goode [2006] FamCA 1346
Marvel & Marvel (No. 2) [2010] FamCAFC 101
Mazorski & Albright [2007] FamCA 520
McCall & Clark [2009] FamCAFC 92; (2009) FLC 93-405
MRR v GRR (2010) 240 CLR 461
Ms Nettles
Mr Nettles
22 January 2016
Foster J
18 January 2016

The following is annotated. For full case:


(1) That the mother have sole parental responsibility for the child B born on … 2009.
(2) That the child live with the mother.
(3) That the child spend no time with and have no contact with the father.

  1. The parties separated on 30 April 2015.
  2. The mother makes serious allegations as to domestic violence suffered by her at the hands of the father and his drug use during the latter period of cohabitation. She further makes allegations as to the disposition of matrimonial funds and property by the father to fund his drug habit.
  3. In the early months of 2015 the father assaulted the child D on a number of occasions.
  4. In early April 2015 the father left the then matrimonial home for a few days, threatening the mother and children with a knife that he would “puncture your tyres so you can’t get away”. Subsequently the father’s attendances at the matrimonial home became irregular.
  5. On 3 June 2015 the mother attended court proceedings relating to the father to hear his solicitor make representations to the court that the father was using “ice” (crystal methamphetamine).
  6. The father’s present police record (Exh C) reveals a number of criminal convictions prior to the commencement of the parties’ relationship. At the time of separation and thereafter the father has been charged with numerous offences including use carriage service to menace, destroy or damage property, stalk intimidate with intention to cause physical harm, possess prohibited drug, being in possession of goods suspected of being stolen, knowingly deal with the proceeds of crime, dishonestly obtain property by deception, break enter and steal, carry cutting weapon, and a number of charges relating to contravene a prohibition or restriction in an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order. The circumstances relating to those charges are set out below.
  7. Subsequent to separation the mother has received text messages from the father, mostly rambling and nonsense. On 4 May 2015 the father sent an audio message to the mother that spoke of a man’s partner who had died. The mother was gravely concerned by that communication fearing physical harm to herself.
  8. In the early hours of the morning of 5 May 2015 the mother and children were at her parents’ home. The father attended at that home and attempted to force entry into the home using a tomahawk. The father was unable to gain access to the home through the front security door and then broke the front lounge room window but could not gain entry. The father then threatened to burn down the matrimonial home. The father appeared to have left the premises but then returned driving his vehicle into the side fence of the mother’s parents’ property attempting to gain access. The father then drove his car into the double gates at the rear of the property forcing the double gates off the hinges and smashing his car into the rear of the mother’s car.
  9. All the while the mother, the children and the mother’s parents were crying and screaming awaiting the police to attend. As the police arrived the father decamped from the premises.
  10. That day a provisional Apprehended Domestic Violence Order was made for the protection of the mother and the two children. Subsequently the mother received a telephone communication from E Town High School, her place of employment and where the child D attends, to the effect that the father had contacted the school looking for the mother. The father was later arrested nearby.
  11. The mother subsequently attended the matrimonial F Town property and noticed a large amount of electrical appliances that had not been there previously. Police attended and searched the property and the result of that search resulted in the arrest of the father and a number of charges against him as referred to above.
  12. On 5 May 2015, upon his arrest the father was refused bail and he was further refused bail at Penrith Local Court on 6 May 2015.

The ADVO order

  1. On 3 June 2015, a final Apprehended Domestic Violence Order was granted for a period of two years for the protection of the mother and the two children. On the same day the father was granted bail on the basis that he attend a long-term residential rehabilitation facility at G Town on the New South Wales Central Coast. On about 29 August 2015 the father absconded from the rehabilitation facility having further used illicit drugs and after refusing to undertake drug testing by the facility.

Further charges

  1. On 2 September 2015 the father was again arrested and charged with theft from his former employer, the Salvation Army. The father was granted police bail until his court appearance on 15 September 2015 at which he was again granted bail. On 16 September 2015 the father failed a random drug test undertaken by the Department of Corrective Services and the father’s bail was revoked. The father was again granted bail by the court on 18 September 2015 on the condition that he reside with his parents at H Town and report regularly to the police.
  2. The father’s parents were unaware of the new bail conditions and had not agreed to same and on 19 September 2015 the father’s bail was again revoked.
  3. On 30 September 2015 the mother and the father’s parents received a lengthy email from the father admitting that he had been using and dealing in drugs, having sold his motor vehicle for $10,000 and spending those funds on drugs. Subsequently the husband attempted to withdraw funds from the matrimonial home loan at the Commonwealth Bank and in so doing threatened the bank teller.
  4. The father was subsequently seen in the vicinity of the E Town High School with the school being placed in lockdown as a consequence.
  5. The father subsequently evaded arrest until 5 November 2015 when he was arrested at a pawnshop in I Town with stolen goods. The father was refused bail at I Town Local Court on 6 November 2015 and he remains in custody.
  1. The mother has been the primary carer of the child and will continue to do so. There is no suggestion that she has anything other than full capacity to provide for the child in a caring and protective way. The father has demonstrated totally inappropriate capacity to provide for the child and has subjected the child to and emotional trauma by reason of his behaviour.
  2. The father has demonstrated no regard to having an appropriate attitude to the child and his responsibilities of parenthood. He has regrettably enmeshed the child in the circumstances of his violence, dishonesty and drug abuse. The mother has demonstrated a proper attitude to the child and her responsibilities of parenthood particularly more recently in taking protective action in relation to the child.
  3. The father’s conduct has been considered above and his violence, intimidation and threats to the mother and his involvement of the child in his aberrant behaviour is a significant disentitling factor in this matter.



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