A famous Indigenous artist who now works at a Glen Innes not-for-profit has been convicted of making threats to injure a former partner.
Nick Levy has painted artworks that have toured Japan, the UK and Brisbane's State Library of Queensland. He describes his style as modern contemporary Aboriginal art.
The 37-year-old told the court he had been drinking heavily through the evening of August 18. By the next morning he had stewed for hours on a painful break-up with his partner of four months.
He started a Facebook messenger conversation with her at 5.34am from the account of another person.
"You're a f*****g dog, go f**k (her partner) like u want to dog features!!
"Kill yourself m**********s."
Three minutes later he tried to Facebook call her.
He then sent a text message: "You c***s are dead"
"And what no answer dog mother f*****s coz it's true u dog mother f*****s"
The abuse continued for hours with no response. But another message at around 6.57am threatening "murder" finally got an answer, with the victim twice asking Levy to leave her alone: "You scare the f**k out of me," she said.
Nick Levy, admitting it was him sending the messages, finally said "You know we are best together".
All told he sent 48 messages in three hours, according to court documents.
When police showed up at his house at 9.20am that morning he asked them what they were arresting him for claiming "I didn't say anything wrong".
Police explained the allegation and the charge.
"I didn't mean it. I wouldn't hurt a fly," he said.
Levy pleaded guilty in Glen Innes Local Court on Wednesday August 14, saying he was ashamed and bitterly regretful of making the threats but had no intention of genuinely following through with any of them.
His lawyer said that he'd long had problems with alcohol and blamed the immediacy of social media, which allowed violent thoughts to be transmitted directly from his brain onto text without a filter.
Magistrate Jacqueline Trad agreed that social media made impulsive behaviour more dangerous because of the immediate availability of a communications tool.
But she also said what she called a "tirade" constituted a serious crime.
"It's domestic violence no matter which way you look at it," she said.
Levy was issued an AVO and a community release order which includes community corrections supervision. Magistrate Trad ordered him to sort out his issues with alcohol.
Levy currently works as Glen Innes Community Centre's deputy coordinator and as the Aboriginal Information Officer at the Glen Innes Public School.