A doctor in the eastern suburbs of Sydney threatened and beat a woman with an axe.
Dr. John Barrafus appeared via audiovisual link from prison at the Sydney Downing Center on Wednesday to seek bail after being arrested for violating the terms of an arrest warrant.
The order was imposed to protect women who were assaulted and threatened by doctors in 2021.
On March 14, a 47-year-old medical professional pleaded guilty to threatening a woman with an axe.
The man grabbed the cell phone the woman was using to film the incident and pushed her arm, according to the documents. He then lunged at her and broke her glass.
According to police facts, the Bondi local was “extremely drunk” at the time.
Nine months later, he was drunk again, struck and grabbed the woman’s arm with a “big punch,” according to court documents. Dr. Barafas also pleads guilty to hitting a woman.
On Wednesday, his attorney, Michael Hempsall, told the court that his client “suffered from significant substance abuse problems and mental health concerns” at the time of the attack.
To protect the woman from Dr. Barrafus, an Arrested Violence Order was issued in February 2022, barring Dr. Barrafus from contacting or approaching her.
A Bondi local traded his scrubs for prison greens last October when he was arrested on suspicion of multiple violations of AVO terms.
Police allege that the doctor tried to evade police detection by communicating with the woman using covert means such as walkie-talkies and encrypted messaging platforms.
Police allege that Dr Barrafus spoke to the woman as many as 10 times in one day when prohibited by court order.
He was allegedly threatening in some of their conversations, including one that the court heard that his mother had told the woman he wanted her dead.
Police allege the 42-year-old drove the woman in her car in direct violation of a court order to stay away from her.
He pleaded guilty to threats, general assault, and assault that caused actual bodily harm.
Dr. Barrafus pleaded not guilty to nine counts of violating the violent order in which he was arrested and one count of intimidation.
Mr Hempsall told the court that the doctor’s contact with the woman was “mutual” and that the woman was “persistently approaching him”.
Magistrate Juliana Crofts argued that there were no court orders imposed on women, only Dr. Barrafus.
“Your client is an educated person. He knows what steps need to be taken,” she told Hempsall.
She is said to have taken elaborate steps to allow doctors to speak to women without the police being notified.
“It worries me when I read articles about radios being used in violation of court orders,” said the magistrate.
Prosecutors said in court that there was an “unacceptable risk” for the 47-year-old man to once again violate AVO’s terms and find creative ways to interfere with the next hearing.
“After spending 140 days in prison, you might think he’s learned his lesson,” Hempsall said.
Judge Crofts has ruled that the risks can be mitigated with strict bail conditions prohibiting contact with women.
Dr. Barafas was also ordered to report daily to police, abstain from alcohol and drugs, and not use encrypted devices.
He is scheduled to return to court later this month to contest 10 charges at hearings.
https://thewest.com.au/news/axe-wielding-doctor-admits-punching-and-intimidating-woman-c-9419123 Ax-wielding doctor admits to hitting and intimidating woman