Police have applied for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against a woman after she was charged with stabbing her son in one of Sydney's most exclusive suburbs.
However, in a shock twist to the story, a Court has heard that the son had just confessed to a murder and threatened his mother.
22-year-old Hugo Ball underwent surgery and is being treated in hospital for "multiple stab wounds" after the vicious attack.
His mother, 55-year-old Samantha Palmer, was charged with serious domestic violence offences and refused bail.
At approximately 1.40am on Saturday, 21 November 2020, Police and Ambulance officers attended Drumalbyn Road in Bellevue Hill.
There they found Mr Ball with "multiple stab wounds". He was treated at the scene before being taken to St Vincent's Hospital in a serious condition.
He had suffered wounds to his back, right shoulder and left forearm, a NSW Ambulance spokesman said.
It was later revealed that he also suffered a wound to his skull.
The 22-year-old underwent surgery and remains in serious condition.
Officers from Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command attended the scene and seized a knife that was taken for forensic examination.
Ms Palmer was charged with wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Police also applied for an Apprehended Violence Order for Mr Ball's protection.
She was refused bail and appeared before Parramatta Local Court on Sunday for a bail application.
Lawyer for Bail Application defends Palmer
Ms Palmer's lawyer for the bail application told the court that the alleged victim had a history of drug abuse issues. It was further suggested that the incident occurred when Mr Ball returned home and began acting "erratically" and "incoherently".
However, the most shocking revelation was yet to come.
Speaking to the Magistrate, Ms Palmer's lawyer said:
"My client is alarmed. She asked him what's wrong, what's the problem? He tells her that he has committed a murder. You don't have an accused person like this all of a sudden commit a crime like this - a mother in her 50's with no criminal history."
To put the relationship in context, he said that the 55-year-old had received threats from Mr Ball and that there was a history of family violence.
Ultimately, the bail application was withdrawn after the prosecution indicated that they were opposing bail being granted.
Mental health concerns for complainant
The court heard that in June 2020, Mr Ball was studying Bond University when he was twice scheduled at Robina Hospital due to mental health concerns.
Because of this, Ms Palmer and Mr Ball's stepfather James Tilley were granted permission to travel to Queensland despite coronavirus restrictions to bring Mr Ball home to Sydney.
Stabbed to base of skull
Witnesses at the scene of the incident have detailed what they saw when emergency services arrived.
Ms Palmer was heard screaming "I love you" and "I'm the mother of this child for God's sake," as she taken away by Police.
NSW Ambulance Inspector Giles Buchanan told media that amongst the alleged victim's stab wounds was a puncture to the base of his skull which could have been life-threatening.
"Initially he had extremely low blood pressure indicating he had a significant amount of bleeding and the location of the wounds can certainly be fatal," Mr Buchanan said.
Apprehended Violence Orders are also known as AVOs. They usually are applied for by Police in the context of domestic violence, however, they can also arise in other contexts such as neighbour disputes.
In order for an AVO to be made, Section 16 of the Act sets out the factors that must be proved on the balance of probabilities:
1. The alleged victim has reasonable grounds to fear a personal violence offence from you; and
2. The alleged victim, fears a personal violence offence from you unless:
a) The alleged victim is under 16 years of age
b) The alleged victim has a mental impairment
c) the alleged victim has, in the past, been subject to a personal violence offence from you and the court believes there is a reasonable likelihood of it occurring again.
3. It is appropriate to make an AVO in the terms sought.
In determining whether to make an AVO, Section 17(2) of the Act allows the Court to consider:
"(a) in the case of an order that would prohibit or restrict access to the defendant's residence-the effects and consequences on the safety and protection of the protected person and any children living or ordinarily living at the residence if an order prohibiting or restricting access to the residence is not made, and
(b) any hardship that may be caused by making or not making the order, particularly to the protected person and any children, and
(c) the accommodation needs of all relevant parties, in particular the protected person and any children, and
(d) any other relevant matter."
An AVO is not a criminal record and as such will not appear on any Police check.
However, any breach of the AVO can result in a criminal conviction.
The conditions attached to an AVO can be very restrictive. You can be prevented from living at your house, approaching or contacting your partner and/or children and attending certain locations. As such, you should speak to an experienced AVO lawyer as soon as possible.
Defending an AVO?
Today, domestic violence charges are very common. There have been a number of recent examples of people having AVOs dismissed. Having the best lawyers for an AVO will go a long way towards this.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.