A MAN who threatened to stab his wife with a chisel after she told him they could no longer share a bed has been ordered to undergo mental health treatment.
The Bendigo man pleaded guilty at Bendigo Magistrates Court on Tuesday to one count of threatening to inflict serious injury.
The court heard the couple were discussing the state of their marriage in December last year when the man became angered by his wife’s refusal to be intimate with him.
The man then threatened to stab his wife in her stomach with a chisel, and told her he’d burn down their house if she took their child away from him.
The child was at the house at the time of the incident, but did not witness the argument, the court heard.
Lawyer Bob Cameron told the court his client had not made the threats to his wife, but said them to a neighbour who had been at the house during the altercation.
The court heard the man appeared remorseful when interviewed and told police he didn't realise the comment about the chisel would be taken as a threat.
Mr Cameron said his client had mental health issues and had been medicated for depression for eight years.
He said the couple had since separated, and the man had left the area.
The man had a clean criminal record until 2011 when he was fined $1500 for contravening a family violence order against a former de facto daughter-in-law, the court was told.
Magistrate Patrick Southey said the offence was very serious, but seemingly out of character.
"He hasn't been in trouble for the best part of half a century," Mr Southey said.
"It's a bit unusual."
“It’s not just about punishing people, we want them to be travelling well.”
Mr Southey imposed a 12-month community corrections order requiring a mental health assessment and treatment.
He said had the man not pleaded guilty, or expressed regret, he would have imposed a tougher sentence.