Court grants Dad deemed “at risk of murder-suicide” access to his children.

A father-of-three, with a decade long history of threats, and assessed as at risk of killing his children and himself, has won the right to have access to his children in a Federal Court judgement.

The New South Wales father has been under psychiatric care after being admitted to a private psychiatric hospital several times for suicidal ideation or suicide attempts and has even been detained as an involuntary patient under the Mental Health Act.

He won  access despite the court hearing the man threatened to kill the children’s mother, his former partner and then himself in January 2012, and evidence showing the man had empathy for previous cases where a father had murdered his children after a custody dispute.

The father told the court “I just can see how someone could get to that stage.”

“I assume that this man saw no avenue for access to his kids …”

The Australian reports that even with this in evidence the father has been granted access to his children under supervision of his own parents.

Wooden block, judge's wig and gavel on a wooden desk
The court heard that if the father lost there were fears he would feel desperate and bleak. Image via IStock.

According to the report the man had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder by a doctor referred to as ‘Dr S.’

Dr S warned the court “If he ‘loses’ the (access) cases, he also remains at very high risk of suicidal and potential violent/murderous rage and acting out. He has threatened this many times over the last two decades. ”


The court heard that if the father lost there were fears he would feel desperate and bleak and have the attitude that he too had “nothing to lose.”

The father was asked by the court how he would react if he lost and his response was  “I can’t predict the future.”

Justice Altobelli said “The court observes it would have been far more reassuring if he had simply said that the proposition put to him was not true,” he said.

The Australian reports that in 2012 the man threatened to kill his former wife while on a camping trip.

The father has supervised access to the three children. Image via IStock.

“I will kill you and then I will kill myself. I’ve come here so we can die ­together” he told her.

The Judge described it as a sad and tragic case and said that the court deemed there was a very real risk of murder suicide.

“The court believes there is a real, associated risk of murder-­suicide in this case, although the risk of suicide is probably greater than the risk of the father harming others, including the mother and his own children,”

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Robert Farquharson with his three sons who he murdered. ( Image via Debrief Daily)

In court the man was questioned about comments he had made about cases like Robert Farquharson, the Victorian father who drove his three children into a dam on Father’s Day in 2005.

Farquharson’s three boys Jai, 10, Tyler, 7, and Bailey, 2 died after Farquharson who was returning the children to their mother after an access visit drove into a dam.

The father empathised saying he found it distressing that someone would kill their own children but that he could understand how a man could “get to that stage.”

“I assume that this man saw no avenue for access to his kids.

“ It really distressed me that someone could kill their own children, and it still distresses me.”

“I would never hurt anyone unless I had a brain snap, which, you know, no one can predict.”

When the court gave the man access to his children the judge said, “It is nonetheless a real risk.”

However the judge did concede that anything other than supervised contact with the children was an “unacceptable risk of harm to the children”.

The father, who was ordered to engage in therapy and undertake an anger management course has to see his children with their paternal grandparents present.

For help: Lifeline 13 11 14. Kid’s Helpline: 1800 55 1800. DV and Sexual Abuse hotline 27/4: 1800 737 732 Men’s helpline: 1300 78 99 78

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