A New South Wales charity worker on Friday pleaded guilty to charges in a Tweed Heads local court, in relation to threats to kill ABC’s Q&A staff over the show’s support of the LGBTQI community.

Forty-seven-year-old David William Wonnocott from Banora Point, in northern NSW, in their submission to the court said that the LGBTQI community went against his ‘religious beliefs’, as per a report in The Daily Telegraph.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy shut down this argument as “irrelevant” and pointed out that most members of the community were supportive of the LGBTQI community and found homophobia and transphobia offensive.

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The judge sentenced Wonnocott to a nine-months imprisonment with a non-parole period of three months. The order was immediately appealed by Wonnocott’s lawyers. Following the appeal, Wonnocott was granted bail with strict conditions that included obtaining a mental health plan and not accessing social media.

‘I Wanted To Scare Them’

The charges related to Wonnocott using a public forum and writing: “QnA should be shut down, you cunts keep supporting the LGBT community and I will kill you all”.

Wonnocott in making his admissions to police explained that he “didn’t agree with the LGBT community”.

When asked about the ABC he told police “I want them to stop spruiking this fucking community, the LGBT whatever fucking they are…I wanted to scare them”

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Wonnocott pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend. Dunlevy cited Wonnocott’s previous history of intimidating people and using a carriage service to menace or harass. The magistrate added that Wonnocott was not someone who drank or used illegal drugs.

Online Trolling

Earlier this year, out broadcast journalist Hamish Macdonald had spoken openly about how online trolling was ‘a key factor’ in his departure from the show after an 18-month stint as Q+A host. Wonnocott’s charges were not related to the online trolling that McDonald was subjected to.

Macdonald had said in an interview with Stellar Magazine in January that the abuse was enough to see him delete his social media accounts.

“If you’re someone who sits in the middle of those exchanges in your day job, you end up copping it from every direction. I’ve never had more abuse for the interviews I’ve conducted than I had last year,” Macdonald said.

“And the abuse has come from left-wing people who don’t like you asking difficult questions of Dan Andrews, and it’s come from people on the right who don’t like you asking difficult questions of the federal government. I’ve definitely learnt you can’t please everyone.”

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

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