A supporter of Derryn Hinch outraged by 3AW's decision last year to sack him later threatened to seriously injure the station's general manager, a court has been told.
Ernest Weston, 63, made the threat in a letter to Shane Healy, who he warned to “keep looking over your shoulder, old boy”.
Melbourne Magistrates Court heard that Weston wrote: “I promise to give you a bullet to the head, or even better, one of your family you f---ing c--t. You are the biggest prick of all time.”
Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Glenn Kilburn told the court Healy's personal assistant opened the letter on August 30 and showed it to him, who then told police.
Senior Constable Kilburn said Weston's home was searched the following month and, after initially denying the allegations, later made full admissions.
He told police he had no reason for the offence and added: “I didn't even know why I did it”.
His barrister Anthony Lewis told the court that Weston had been a supporter of the rights of victims of crime for many years.
Mr Lewis said that as a result, Weston became a supporter of Hinch as “someone who stood up for the rights of victims of crime”.
Weston, he said, had been the victim of crimes as a taxi driver and owner, the operator of a convenience store and as a security guard.
Mr Lewis said that in the lead-up to writing the letter, Weston had injured himself in his job as a community bus driver assisting the elderly and the disabled.
Before hearing that Hinch had been sacked, but on the same day, Weston took an excessive number of anti-inflammatory tablets and others for pain relief.
Mr Lewis said Weston first rang 3AW in a heightened state of agitation and anxiety to complain about Hinch being sacked and was possibly, at the time, “without his full capacities.”
Weston, he said, was “astonished” and “ashamed” to have acted the way he did and “staggered” to find himself in court.
A conviction could possibly affect his work as a driver for the City of Port Phillip, which had suspended his licence pending the outcome of the case.
Weston pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening to inflict serious injury to Mr Healey
Magistrate Brian Clifford, in agreeing not to convict Weston, noted his early plea of guilty, his lack of prior convictions, his cooperation with police and that he was remorseful.
Mr Clifford also noted that the writer of one character witness described Weston's conduct as a “brain fade completely out of character."
Weston was put on an undertaking to be of good behaviour for 12 months, was ordered to pay $1000 to the court fund, and undergo psychological counselling as required.
“You won't see me again,” Weston told Mr Clifford.
Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood later denied that Hinch had been sacked, rather that the company had decided not to renew his contract.
The story 'I promise to give you a bullet to the head': 3AW manager threatened first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.