Lawyer threatened outside court room, court told

A MAN threatened to injure a lawyer inside the Ballarat Law Courts building after a bail variation application hearing to allow him to live with his partner was adjourned, a court was told yesterday.Shane John Cotter, 36, was making the application at the courts in November 2008 _ more than a year after he bashed his partner and torched her Richards St home.Ballarat Magistrates Court was told Cotter's partner was at the courts on the same day for a similar matter with her defence lawyer Matthew Carrazzo.Prosecutor Sally Flynn said Cotter's partner indicated she did not want him to live with her.Cotter was walking past Mr Carrazzo outside the court room when he said to him: "I am going to rip your head off".Cotter's defence barrister Jason Gullaci told the court his client made an instantaneous threat to Mr Carrazzo as he walked past.Magistrate Michelle Hodgson told Cotter legal practitioners must be able to work free from violence and that he interfered with court processes.She imposed a sentence of nine months' jail, with five months accumulative of the sentence Cotter is currently serving.He was sentenced to to six-and-a-half years' jail, with a non-parole period of five years after a jury found him guilty last year of arson, intentionally causing serious injury and attempting to pervert the cause of justice.Cotter, of Horsham, pleaded guilty to one count of threatening to inflict serious injury.