The lawyer for disgraced former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer has told a Sydney court he is trying to “move on” and plan a future with a new partner.
Mehajer, 31, appeared at Burwood Court via video-link from Silverwater Prison today after being charged with intimidating his ex-wife Aysha Learmonth after sending her hundreds of messages.
Magistrate Jacqueline Trad recorded a conviction and sentenced him to him an 18-month good behaviour bond.
“There was no actual threat of violence conveyed through those messages [sent to Ms Learmonth],” Magistrate Trad said.
“But as I found… there was a clear impression and message that was being sent through this conduct to indicate a certain amount of menace in relation to the accused being able to know what the victim was doing.”
Mehajer’s lawyer Zali Burrows told the court that at the time of the offence, there was no direct threat of violence and that the former deputy mayor was still in love with Ms Learmonth and hoped they would reconcile.
But Ms Burrows said that was no longer the case.
“He has moved on, he’s planning a future with his new partner,” she told the court.
However, the prosecutor said Ms Learmonth still feared Mehajer.
“The victim from the charge still has considerable fears in relation to any future contact with this person,” the prosecutor told the court.
Mehajer’s new partner had written a statement for the court, which said Mehajer was no longer in love with his ex-wife, Ms Burrows said.
But the magistrate did not give much weight to that statement.
“Whether or not that can be seen to be firm proof of moving on from the prior relationship is a matter of conjecture,” magistrate Trad said.
“It’s not a situation that [his new partner] presents any expertise other than being acquainted with the accused, and basically reporting what he has reported to her.”
Speaking outside court, Ms Burrows said they would be appealing the conviction.
She said Mehajer was a “lovesick puppy” who was only “guilty of loving his wife”.
Mehajer was arrested on Friday, in an unrelated matter, after allegedly using two mobile phones in breach of his bail conditions.
He was on bail over allegations that he staged a car accident in October 2017 to avoid appearing in court over charges that he assaulted a taxi driver.