find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Bikies will ‘rip your throat out’: university lawyer threatened

Bikies will ‘rip your throat out’: university lawyer threatened


An academic used graphic detail in his death threat to a law school general counsel, a South Australian court heard this week.

Following his expulsion from the University of Adelaide due to poor performance, Dr John Christopher Richards, 65, told the university’s general counsel he would send her corpse floating down the Torrens River.

As reported by The Advertiser, Chief Judge Geoffrey Muecke of the District Court in Adelaide outlined Mr Richards’ outlandish threats in his sentencing remarks.

“You started by saying that you would be finishing your law degree within one year and that you knew the law,” he said.

“After she said to you ‘Dr Richards it is not likely you will finish your degree within one year’, you said ‘I understand the law, you f**king Madam, I know about extra judicial justice’.

“When she asked you what you meant, you responded: ‘I know bikies ... they will come and put a bullet through your brain and rip your throat out and send you floating down the river’.”

The general counsel and the university sought a restraining order against Mr Richards, but she continued to fear an attack.

“The degree of detail that you [engaged] in, in the intended manner of her death, has played repeatedly on her mind,” said Chief Judge Muecke.

“Since these events she finds herself frequently looking over her shoulder, checking surroundings and being more guarded in where she walks.

“She remains anxious and alert for the prospect of personal harm and apprehension that your threats might one day convert from telephone and paper to reality.”

Mr Richards denied the charge of threatening life, an offence that carries a maximum of 12 years.

However, Chief Judge Muecke said in sentencing that he had caused the general counsel to fear for her life when he threatened her in March 2014.

Mr Richards, who holds numerous bachelor degrees, was declared by the judge to be mentally unfit for trial.

He was sentenced to a three and a half years in mental health care and was banned from the University of Adelaide.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Bikies will ‘rip your throat out’: university lawyer threatened
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...