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A man accused of making death threats on social media against former political staffer Brittany Higgins and her fiance has fronted court.
David William Wonnocott is facing charges after police received information allegedly about threats of violence made through a social media platform.
The accused is not to be with or contact Brittany Higgins or her fiance David Sharaz (pictured) except through a lawyer, according to court documents.Credit: Instagram
Wonnocott appeared in a northern NSW court on Wednesday for the first time in connection with the charges since his arrest in April.
One condition of Wonnocott’s bail is that he is not to be with or contact Higgins or her fiance David Sharaz except through a lawyer, according to court documents.
He is charged with one count of using a carriage service to threaten to kill on April 11 last year and one count of using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend between July 2022 and February this year.
The Banora Point man is accused of using social media like Facebook and Instagram “in such a way that reasonable persons would regard that use as being menacing, harassing or offensive”, according to court documents.
Wonnocott is also facing a separate charge of using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend on January 9.
His bail conditions in relation to that charge state he cannot be with or contact NSW MP Alexander Greenwich except through a lawyer.
Another condition banned the 49-year-old from attending Mardi Gras Sydney or being in the Sydney CBD on February 25 and requiring him to comply with a curfew between 4pm on 11.30pm on the day of the Mardi Gras.
NSW Police said in April detectives from the Terrorism Investigation Squad began investigating in February “after receiving information about threats of violence made through a social media platform in relation to participants of a mass gathering”.
They did not name the target of numerous online threats.
Higgins has received a barrage of abuse on social media after going public with allegations that she was raped by a colleague in Parliament House in 2019 when she was working for Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds.
“Detectives uncovered a total of 49 messages with similar threats or offensive content sent from a number of accounts, which were believed to be linked,” police said in April.
“One of the accounts was also linked to messages sent on social media to a man in the ACT, allegedly threatening to kill the man, his partner, and their pet dog.”
Court documents state Wonnocott’s criminal history mainly related to intimidation and threats towards members of minority groups using social media.
Police have records of his posts, device data and victim impact statements in relation to the threats and intimidation.
“It is the police view that he would be in contact with far right-wing thinking groups with radical views that practice and endorse violence towards members of specific minority groups,” the documents state.
Wonnocott appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court where magistrate Geoff Dunlevy said a plea of guilty had been entered in relation to the single charge relating to Greenwich.
Dunlevy said the matters against Wonnocott would proceed on indictment with the Commonwealth DPP not consenting to summary jurisdiction.
He ordered a brief of evidence by July 12 and a mention in the same court on July 24.
Wonnocott is excused from appearing in court that day if legally represented.
Outside court Wonnocott said he did not know Higgins or Sharaz.
Asked what he was going to do in future, he replied with a smile: “Behave.”
In 2021 former Liberal Party staffer Bruce Lehrmann was charged with the sexual assault of Higgins and pleaded not guilty.
The trial in the ACT Supreme Court trial last October was derailed due to juror misconduct.
The charges against him were later dropped because of concerns about the impact a second trial would have on Higgins’ mental health.
Lehrmann denies the allegation he raped Ms Higgins.
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