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WA father pleads leniency after breaching family violence order

By Aditi Kutty.

A Western Australian father was charged with breaching a family violence interim intervention order at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday after texting his ex-partner in June last year.


Victoria Police alleged Alexandra Max Turnbull sent his ex-partner Toni Hodgett seven text messages on 17 June, 2022, in the middle of a five-year family violence interim intervention order issued in 2018.


Turnbull claimed he texted Hodgett to see his children, aged 10 and 12, and brought up an incident in 2015.


“I can’t apologise for the frustration, but I made the mistake of letting my emotions and the love of my children get the best of me."


Turnbull alleged that Hodgett prevented him from communicating with his children, and told them he was coming to visit despite the intervention order preventing visitations.


“She’s telling my son that I’m going to see them on Sunday… They get excited and then they get upset with me because they think I don’t want to be there.”


Turnbull, who has a prior criminal history, appeared before court without representation and pleaded guilty, citing trouble finding legal aid as well as a desire to “move on”. A FIFO worker based in Perth, he said he moved states to show there was no direct threat to Hodgett and her children. 


“I need to heal. It’s been very hard here. And the job opportunities would benefit [the children] in the long term, once the five years are up.”


The magistrate fined Turnbull $400, acknowledging the guilty plea but also reminding the accused that a breach of a court order is a serious offence.


“I’ve read the text messages and can see there’s a lot of emotion behind them,” the magistrate said. “It’s evident that this was an outburst of emotion rather than a show of aggression.”


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