Man’s response to not getting job was “out of proportion”, Magistrate says

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A man who sent 45 hostile voicemails after being rejected for a job has been given a Community Corrections Order.

“There’s no remorse on your part,” Magistrate Stephen Corry told Misheck Mukonoweshuro when he fronted court for sentencing last week.

“I can understand that not getting the job would have been upsetting but your reaction was out of all proportion.”

The 37-year-old was previously found guilty of ‘use carriage service to threaten to kill’ and ‘stalk/intimidate intend fear physical etc harm’.

The court previously heard that Mukonoweshuro obtained a Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy) from the University of Zimbabwe before he moved to Australia in 2017.

In 2020, he applied for a job as an occupational therapist with a rehabilitation psychologist in Penrith.

The 48-year-old victim told the court that he was prepared to offer Mukonoweshuro the position but was unable to due to limitations in his professional accreditation.

In the months that followed, he received a number of frightening voicemails from the phone number registered to the accused.

He says he initially reported the incident to Queensland Police, before presenting at Ulladulla Police Station with his wife in 2021.

During the hearing, the court heard six of the voicemails that threatened the safety of the victim and his family.

“Delusional white c**t. By the end of 2021 you will be dead. F**k you,” one voicemail said.

“I’m bringing the guns out and the bullets… I’m going to bring my knives out. Let’s fight to the death”.

When called into the witness box, Mukonoweshuro blanketly denied the allegations telling the magistrate that he did not apply for a job and has no tertiary education.

“There are lots of people in Zimbabwe with that name,” he said.
When the prosecutor asked Mukonoweshuro to confirm his mobile phone number, he refused “for privacy reasons”.

A forensic linguist, who was engaged to provide an expert statement, told the court that the audio samples he received were not ideal. He said it was evidently “someone whose second or third language is English” and that the file for analysis was repetitive.

On the last court date, Mukonoweshuro’s lawyer spoke of the challenges that migrants face before telling Magistrate Corry that “there is no evidence in the material that the victim did anything wrong”.

Before handing down the verdict, Magistrate Corry took into account a reference from Mukonoweshuro’s previous employer and the sentencing assessment report which indicated he is a low-risk of reoffending in the future.

For each offence, he was convicted and given a 12-month Community Corrections Order.

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