Shaun Hardy pictured in 2011 while president of St Mary’s Football Club. Picture: Justin Sanson
Shaun Hardy pictured in 2011 while president of St Mary’s Football Club. Picture: Justin Sanson

Council CEO fails in bid to overturn DV conviction

WEST Daly Regional Council chief executive and former AFLNT board member Shaun Hardy has failed in a bid to overturn an assault conviction after strangling his partner and telling her "I'm not afraid to murder".

The St Mary's premiership player pleaded guilty in the Darwin Local Court in December last year to aggravated assault following the incident on September 13 and was convicted and sentenced to a 12-month good behaviour bond.

The court heard the couple were asleep at their home in Stuart Park when Hardy woke and "for unknown reasons became anxious and aggressive", demanding the woman "tell (him) the answer".

Hardy then told her "No one will be sleeping tonight" and "I'm not afraid to murder", took her mobile phone and unplugged the landline so she was unable to call for help.

He then placed both hands around her neck and began to squeeze and said "This will be the end tonight" and then dragged her toward the kitchen saying "one of us has to die and it will be you".

The woman eventually managed to escape to a neighbour's house and called the police who arrived and arrested Hardy.

His lawyer, John Lawrence SC, told the court Hardy was "experiencing mental unwellness", saying "his outburst that night … was just a genuine piece of derangement", probably triggered by stress.

Chief Judge Elizabeth Morris pointed out there was no expert evidence to suggest Hardy was mentally ill but Mr Lawrence argued it was apparent from the "disturbing" offending itself that he had "a mental apparition".

In sentencing, Ms Morris noted Hardy's prior good character and contribution the community but said domestic violence was all too common and she must send a message to others.

"I have no explanation, apart from the stresses that you may have been under, of which I am unaware, about why you would react in this particularly frightening manner on this particular evening," she said.

Hardy appealed his conviction in the Supreme Court but in dismissing the appeal, Justice Graham Hiley ruled the good behaviour bond "was itself reflective of a lenient disposition".

"(Prosecutor David) Castor pointed out that Mr Lawrence SC had made concessions that there was no direct evidence of mental illness or disturbance and was unable to identify anything extenuating other than stress," he said.

"He stressed that domestic violence is no longer a private affair, as is well recognised by the various decisions at appellate court level.

"I agreed with those contentions."

West Daly Regional Council was contacted for comment.




Originally published as Council CEO fails in bid to overturn DV conviction