A woman who was abused as "garbage" and a "filthy stinking animal" in offensive, intimidating and threatening messages sent by her former boyfriend has won a 3½-year legal fight for a violence restraining order.
The Court of Appeal has upheld Alison Faye Baron's legal challenge after finding a District Court judge who overturned the initial order failed to appreciate the improper behaviour of William Arthur Walsh, made mistakes which undermined his assessment of acts of abuse and ignored procedural fairness.
Ms Baron and Mr Walsh were in a relationship for about six months, which ended in January 2011.
The day they separated, Mr Walsh began sending Ms Baron abusive and threatening text and voice messages. In one message, Mr Walsh said: "Last message ever, hope your final days are as horrible as you really are you low life piece of scum."
On the day Ms Baron was granted an interim violence restraining order, Mr Walsh made the first of two reports about his former partner - a hospital nurse - to the regulatory body that oversees her profession.
The complaints were based on false allegations in a bid to "get even" after their break-up.
He also started court proceedings against Ms Baron to recover $225, reported her to police for perjury and left voice messages demanding she "call a truce".
"If you stop, I'll stop," he said on a message left on Ms Baron's work telephone. "Then I don't want to hear from you again. You're just garbage."
A magistrate granted the initial violence restraining order after a six-day hearing in April 2012. Judge John Staude threw out the order in December the same year, saying restraining orders were not to be used to protect people from the "emotional fallout" of failed relationships.
Last week, three Court of Appeal judges found Judge Staude erred in failing to recognise the impropriety of Mr Walsh's conduct as a whole.