Lindt cafe gunman Man Haron Monis was once acquitted in a Sydney court of threatening to shoot his former partner, court documents reveal.
Noleen Hayson Pal, the mother of Monis’ two children, went to police in July 2011 after a late-night confrontation with Monis outside a fast-food restaurant in western Sydney.
Ms Pal said Monis said he wanted to see her urgently, so she asked her parents to drive her to McDonald’s in Green Valley.
Her parents remained in the car while Ms Pal and Monis argued in the car park about a family dispute.
“I decided to walk back to the car [and] that’s when he said to me, he goes … ‘I will make you pay, even if I have to shoot you’,” Ms Pal told a Sydney magistrates court in January 2012.
“[I was] scared, very scared,” she said.
“What were you scared of?” the prosecutor asked.
“Of that fact that he could do it … at one point in our relationship he did tell me that he did hold a gun licence.”
Ms Pal went to police a few days after the confrontation and Monis was brought in for questioning at St Mary’s Police Station.
He was charged with stalk or intimidate intending to cause fear of physical or mental harm, but 10 months later, in May 2012, was found not guilty by a Sydney magistrate.
In the wake of the Sydney Lindt cafe siege, the court documents from several of the gunman’s previous court matters were made available to the media, but the documents relating to that not guilty decision have not been released.
Monis tells police his gun licence expired
In the transcript of Monis’ police interview, conducted one week after the car park encounter with Ms Pal, officers asked whether he had access to firearms.
“Of course, no,” Monis replied.
“Did you have access to firearms in the past?” police asked.
“Yes … when I was a security officer in Australia. I had a licence, then I got another licence of firearms,” Monis said.
Police asked Monis if his firearm licence was still current.
“No, of course that has been expired many years ago,” he replied.
He then confirmed he no longer had access to firearms.
After the police interview, Monis was given a court attendance notice and ordered not to go near his former partner.
In April 2013, Ms Pal was stabbed to death multiple times and set alight at a western Sydney unit block.
Monis was charged with being an accessory before and after the murder and his then-partner, Amirah Droudis, was charged with murder.
Both were given bail in December 2013 after a magistrate said the Crown case was weak.
‘He started getting more into his Islamic activities’
Court documents reveal Ms Pal met Monis in early 2003.
“I saw an advertisement in the papers for his psychic work and I went to make an appointment to go and see him,” she said.
“He can tell the future and stuff.”
Monis, who came to Australia in 1996 from Iran, had been working as a spiritual healer in western Sydney.
He also claimed to be a sheikh and would hold lectures.
Ms Pal told the court he began staying at her home on and off from 2003, but they would argue a lot.
She said his behaviour changed when “he started getting more into his Islamic activities”.
“Every time he’s come to my house, he’s been very paranoid about things,” she said.
“As soon as he walks into the house the doors have to be closed, the blinds have to be drawn, we can’t go outside the house.
“He’s always saying to me that people are watching, people are hearing our conversations.
“He really made me feel like there were times where he made me feel uncomfortable living in my house.”