'Bizarre' death threat case thrown out
A TIN CAN BAY woman who threatened a police officer's life over the phone had her charge dismissed in the Gympie Magistrates Court this week.
Gabrielle Ellen Stirling, 63, pleaded guilty to a single charge of using a carriage service to make a threat to kill, but Magistrate Chris Callaghan said he was "satisfied" to dismiss the offence on the basis of her "otherwise excellent character", as well as her extenuating mental health circumstances.
The court heard Stirling rang 000 just after midnight on January 9, telling one officer to send another to her address so she could "put a f***ing bullet in his head".
Police then visited her address at 6:30am to caution Stirling, at which point she said she didn't remember making the call, before claiming that she remembered it as a dream.
Stirling then became distressed and deeply remorseful for her actions, saying she had great respect for police, the court heard.
Her solicitor said she had provided verbal and written apologies to police since the incident, and that her respect for police related to her son-in-law being an officer.
The solicitor said Stirling, a "stalking victim", felt police were "not acting properly" and being "condescending" when talking to her about the matter prior to the phone call, during which she was "highly on-edge".
Mr Callaghan said it was "strange" that Stirling apologised despite not remembering the call and then saying she had dreamt it.
He noted Stirling's existing mental health plan and counselling sessions to treat multiple ailments, as well as the fact that while being declared fit for trial, there was no assessment of her mental state during the offence.
"You have no guns or bullets, so you clearly didn't intend to carry out the threat," Mr Callaghan said.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health issues, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.