The soldier who set up a gay-hate Facebook site and threatened to cut a gay officer ''into a hundred pieces'' has avoided jail after a judge found he was suffering from post traumatic stress triggered while on duty in the Solomon Islands.Marcus Andrew Georgiou, formerly of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, sent an email in March last year to army psychologist Paul Morgan, threatening to break 'every bone in your homosexual body'.
'If the weather permits it I will cut your homosexual carcass into one hundred pieces to feed you to thee [sic] marine life in Botany Bay,'the email said, according to court documents.
Georgiou also set up a Facebook page which, using the army insignia as its profile picture, listed five serving members of the army who it claimed were gay, including Major Morgan. Those men had made a 'filthy lifestyle decision', the page stated.
But yesterday Local Court Magistrate Carolyn Barkell found that Georgiou had been affected by severe post traumatic stress and paranoid schizophrenia after seeing a fellow soldier fall to his death during a peacekeeping mission on the Solomon Islands.
The court heard that Georgiou, having complained to his commanders that the soldiers should have been wearing helmets when the accident occurred, then came to believe that they and his fellow soldiers were 'out to get him'.
These delusions continued when Georgiou was eventually treated for post traumatic stress. While in hospital he came to believe that he had been illegally sedated and then sexually assaulted by those charged with his care, including Major Morgan.
He later sought help from a psychiatrist who prescribed strong anti-psychotic medication, but Georgiou had sent the email before this occurred and was not taking his medication consistently when he set up the Facebook page.
Magistrate Barkell, Georgiou's lawyer, and the lawyer for the prosecution, David Nuen, agreed that the best thing for Georgiou was that he be discharged into the care of his doctor for a period of 18 months.
This option is available under section 20bq of the Commonwealth Crimes Act.
A member of the Australian Defence Force's internal investigation unit attended the hearing.
Major Morgan said earlier this year he would almost certainly be forced to leave the ADF as a result of the treatment he received.
'Right now, because it seems that so many of my colleagues conspired with Marcus Georgiou to start a gay-hate website to drive gays and lesbians from the army, and because so many watched until one person stood up ... it may seem that there is a culture of gay hate in the army,' Major Morgan said.