A BALLARAT magistrate has expressed his concern over innocent people being threatened while doing their jobs.
Magistrate Gregory Robinson made the comments during two separate court cases at Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday.
In one case, a 39-year-old man pleaded guilty to threatening to kill a Department of Human Services (DHS) employee on March 23.
Peter Biggs' case worker was at his home when he aggressively swore and threatened him.
Defence lawyer David Tamanika said his client, a full-time brick layer, made the threat when he heard his partner arguing with the DHS worker and saw her upset while on the phone.
Mr Tamanika said Biggs told police he only threatened to kill. "He didn't think it was as serious as it is," he said.
Mr Robinson said DHS workers were similar to police.
"They are working in the community. One would think they are protected as they go about their work," Mr Robinson said.
“If one threatened me I would not like it and they should be sent to jail.”
Biggs received an 18-month community corrections order, which included drug treatment and mental health programs.
In another case, a homeless drug addict threatened to stab a security guard at Melbourne’s South Bank in May 2016.
Christy Isaacs threatened the security guard after she stole a pair of socks and shoes from a sports store. While making the threat to stab, she put her hand in her bag, frightening the security guard.
Police arrested Isaacs and her co-accused a short time later at Southern Cross Station. Tools, including a box cutter and screw driver were found in Isaacs’ bag.
Mr Robinson told Isaacs she was one step away from jail. “She was threatening an innocent person who is doing their job,” he said.
Isaac's defence lawyer David Tamanika said his was drug-affected when she threatened the security guard and she was not carrying the box cutter at the time.
Mr Tamanika said the mother-of-two was now drug-free, living with her sister in Ballarat and working for the dole.
Isaacs pleaded guilty to a number of charges, including shop theft and threatening to inflict serious injury.
She was sentenced to an 18-month community corrections order with 180 hours of community work.