CHARLESTOWN MP Jodie Harrison “drew a line in the sand”.
She was not going to tolerate death threats to herself or her staff because “everyone deserves to work in a safe workplace”.
So when electorate officers discovered two envelopes containing the threatening messages stuffed under the front door of the state Labor MP’s Charlestown office on the morning of March 3, 2017, Ms Harrison said enough and had the threats reported to police.
“To the Minister [sic],” the typed message on both envelopes read. “You are in TREASON,,, you will be hung until you are dead [sic]. No Mercy, No prisoners [sic]. You are scum.”
According to agreed facts tendered to court, the envelopes contained documents “relating to the legitimacy of Australian law, Australian courts and the parliamentary system”.
Detectives were able to identify the sender, Christopher Hardy, through fingerprint marks left on the sticky tape used to seal the envelopes.
Hardy, 46, of Elton Avenue, Adamstown Heights, was the owner of a jewellery business which traded opposite to Ms Harrison’s office in the Hilltop Shopping Plaza.
On May 3, the day after an unrelated dispute in relation to his lease, police executed a search warrant after becoming concerned by what they saw at the shopfront.
According to the facts, police seized a large number of documents that were titled “A Word About Policy Enforcement Officers and Kidnapping”, “Little Black Book of Operations Tradecraft”, “US Army Field Manual - Boobytraps”, “Critical Analysis of Nitramine Decomposition Data”, “.30 Cal Gattling Machine Gun Plans” and “Introduction to Modern Gunsmithing”.
The documents included a 45-page extract on “CIA assassination techniques”, the facts said.
Police also seized nunchakus, a slingshot with metal ball bearings, an air pistol and knives.
Hardy was arrested and when questioned by detectives said, in part: “I comprehend what you’re telling me but I do not understand the laws in which you act under. I do not accept them.”
Magistrate Les Brennan said death threats should be taken seriously even if “the threats that are made will never be carried out”.
Ms Harrison told the Newcastle Herald after sentencing she did not know Hardy and had never met him.
The former Lake Macquarie mayor said even though politicians regularly receive threats she “drew a line in the sand” on this occasion.
“I’m not going to let myself, or my staff, be threatened like that,” she said.
“Everyone deserves to work in a safe workplace.”
Hardy was sentenced to a maximum 16 months’ jail with a non-parole period of one year.