Threat case 'like Luke Batty'

A MAN who told his two children he would kill their mother has been convicted and fined $3000.

Stephen Payne, 48, of Pepperbush Circuit, Cranbourne, pleaded guilty to a single threat to kill charge when he appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Monday. 

Payne, who did not appear in court, was represented by his solicitor. 

The court heard that on March 31 this year the accused told his two children that he would shoot their mother. The report was made to Port Campbell police. 

In sentencing, Magistrate Ron Saines drew a comparison between the case and the murder of Luke Batty in Tyabb this year. 

The death of the 11-year-old at the hands of his father led to heavy criticism that the justice system did not do enough to stop father Greg Anderson, who had threatened to kill his son just weeks before he committed the gruesome murder in front of families at a public cricket pitch.

“Every case like Luke Batty ... the response from the community is that the court should have taken a stronger stance,” Mr Saines said. 

He said Payne could be considered the next Batty case and told his solicitor to convey the message to his client. 

“If he is engaged in any form of domestic violence there will be a very strong case to cease the non-custodial sentence,” Mr Saines said.

Payne was convicted and fined $3000.

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