Ipswich Courthouse. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Ipswich Courthouse. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Man behaves in jail after threats of violence

A MAN who previously threatened in court to kill “the dog” accused of murdering his niece, has since behaved “impeccably” while in jail.

Jarrod Benjamin Stephan, 49, from Riverview, was back before Ipswich Magistrates Court to be sentenced on a range of charges and appeared from jail via video-link.

Stephan pleaded guilty to threatening violence by words or conduct on November 11 last year; using a carriage service to menace/harass at Riverview between December 13 and December 16, 2019; three counts of possessing dangerous drugs on July 19, 2019; possession of counterfeit money; possession of drug utensils; possession of tainted property; failing to appear at court; six counts of breaching his bail conditions; and domestic violence related offences.

Police prosecutor Bronson Ballard, who appeared by phone link, earlier tendered 13 pages of agreed facts.

Details of the agreed facts were not read onto the official court record.

However, Mr Ballard said police would offer no evidence on eight other charges (not disclosed) which were then dismissed by Magistrate Kurt Fowler.

Mr Fowler said the threatening violence and using a carriage service to menace “carry a significant level of criminality” but there were mental health issues to consider.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said Stephan had not been able to grieve the death of his niece who was allegedly murdered last year.

“His behaviour in custody has been impeccable,” Mr Fairclough said.

“The (alleged) murder of his niece whom he was close to (has affected him). He has support in the community.

“In the past he had issues with heroin and drinking but these have been dealt with.”

Mr Fairclough said through negotiation with police, one of the offences had been charged down significantly to being possession of a dangerous drug.

He sought a sentence with immediate parole release for Stephan, with a suspended sentence to hang over his head.

Mr Fowler said his matter was one of quite sad and unfortunate family circumstances with Stephan mourning the woman’s death.

“Threatening violence is appalling conduct. Just not acceptable by society,” he said.

“Some of these messages you sent would have been frightening for any person to receive.”

Mr Fowler jailed him for 14 months on that offence.

He was jailed for one month for having tainted property.

He received three months jail for the possession of dangerous drugs, and seven days jail on each of the three breaches of bail charges.

Stephan was fined $750 for using a carriage service to menace, and the possession of counterfeit money offences.

One of the three month jail terms (drugs) was suspended for 12 months.

Stephan had already spent 143 days in pre-sentence custody and was given immediate parole.

  • In Queensland (unlike other states) when no facts or only fragmented facts are disclosed in our valued open justice system, court reporters and journalists who are the conduit to the community on what is taking part in their courts on their behalf, must make an application to the court, then pay money to the court to essentially buy the agreed facts on record to report with accuracy.