A debate over the “f” word arose in Maitland Local Court on Friday when a solicitor, defending an offensive language charge, argued that the word was no longer socially offensive.
The solicitor defending Bronte Stevens, of Brown Street, Raymond Terrace, told the magistrate John Chicken her client repeatedly used the word f--- in his own home but used no stronger language.
She argued that because the word was frequently used on television it was not as offensive as other words.
“The average person is not going to find the word f--- offensive; it is almost an adjective in its own right,” she said.
But Mr Chicken said that directing the word at a spouse is an entirely different situation to using the word if one hit one’s thumb with a hammer.
“It was used to offend, [and] in these circumstances that is entirely what it was used for,” Mr Chicken said. “In my view the word was clearly used to intimidate.”
Police were called to a Turton Street unit in East Maitland on January 22 at 4.20pm after reports of a domestic violence incident, the court heard.
It is alleged when they arrived policed heard screaming coming from the unit and Stevens yelled: “F--- you, you f------ mut, you’re f------ gone”.
Documents tendered to the court said police feared someone was being assaulted and entered the unit to find Stevens and his now former partner in separate rooms.
Police said Stevens continued to yell at the woman, calling her a “mut” and walking toward her.
When police tried to establish what had happened, Stevens was still yelling about police and previous issues with neighbours, the court heard.
Stevens stood up and the woman stepped forward and pushed him in the chest, forcing him back on to the lounge, and said: “Just sit down and be quiet.”
Stevens, 39, yelled, “Did you see that” and was later arrested and handcuffed before he yelled, “You’re f------ dead” at the woman.
The charges of stalking and Intimidation, and contravening an apprehended violence order were proven against Stevens but Mr Chicken dismissed the charge of offensive language in a public place.
He said police and members of the public only heard yelling from the house, not specific offensive words.
Stevens will be sentenced on July 26 at Newcastle Local Court.