Man faces court for abusive texts
A MAN who faced court for sending abusive text messages to his neighbour claimed he didn't know the act was illegal.
Ignorance of the law provided no defence for the texter, Mark Allan Hatcher, when he fronted Ipswich Magistrates Court this week in relation to the offence.
Hatcher was charged with one count of using a carriage service to menace and harass.
The 46-year-old told the court he sent the messages as a result of an ongoing dispute between him and his neighbour.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said police were called to Hatcher's neighbour's East Ipswich home at 5.30pm on March 19.
When police arrived, the neighbour produced her phone to show a string of abusive messages Hatcher had sent her.
In total, four text messages were sent - including one that was received while police were at the victim's home.
Sgt Dick said the victim had not replied to any of the text messages.
Hatcher said his neighbours had been shouting offensive remarks at him, which provoked him into sending the messages.
He told the court that he had not been aware it was illegal to send texts of that nature and he regretted his behaviour.
"I made the wrong decision," he said.
Sgt Dick said the offence breached a probation order Hatcher had been given only a few weeks prior to the incident for a similar matter.
Magistrate Barry Cosgrove said the fact Hatcher was mistaken as to the law provided no defence or excuse.
Mr Cosgrove told Hatcher that if something felt like it was wrong to do, it probably was.
"You should not direct abuse or threatening language at another person," he said.
"It was not a very bright thing to do."
Hatcher was sentenced to a week in jail and released on parole on the condition he enter into a $300 good behaviour bond for three months.