An Adelaide man who threatened a hospital staffer after his newborn son was placed in foster care has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered into anger management.

The 39-year-old pleaded guilty after an expletive-laden rant against a ward clerk at the Lyell McEwin Hospital at Elizabeth in June 2012.

The court was told the man has previous convictions for assault against a social security worker and a landlord, and his tirade prompted the hospital to temporarily boost its security.

The District Court was told the man became aggressive on the phone after learning that Families SA had launched proceedings in the Youth Court because of concerns over his and his partner's ability to care for their children, including a newborn son in special care at the hospital.

Judge Paul Muscat told the man during sentencing he could understand why he was upset, but that was no excuse for his abusive and threatening behaviour.

"Following an interview with Families SA at the Lyell McEwen Hospital on 27 June 2012, your son was removed from the hospital by Families SA and placed in foster care," he said.

"It was determined... that because of your aggressive behaviour and that of your partner, your son's safety was at risk, especially as he required special care.

"When you ultimately discovered what had happened you were naturally upset. Your upset soon turned to anger.

"You telephoned the ward where your son was being cared for. You wanted to speak to the person in charge to ascertain why - and to quote you - 'They stole your f...ing baby' and 'Why they let them take my f...ing baby'. You were very abusive over the telephone to the point where you became incoherent.

"You were yelling and screaming at the top of your voice.

"You told the ward clerk, who was only doing her job in answering the telephone, that you would 'F...ing come to the hospital and you would f...ing kill the lot of them in the nursery'."

Judge Muscat told the man his phone call made the clerk fear for her safety.

"Additional security measures had to be put in place for about a week as a direct result of your threats. Your victims felt concerned going to and from work for a period of time," he said.

"The law was complied with, whether you agreed with it or not. Having said that, it is to your credit that you later telephoned the hospital and apologised for your behaviour. It seems you also apologised to staff of Families SA for your outburst at them.

"You have two previous convictions for assault... in similar circumstances where your anger has boiled over into threatening conduct."

Judge Muscat said that included an assault on a social security worker and a landlord, but he said good reason existed to suspend a two-month prison sentence because the man had realised his conduct was inappropriate.

He imposed a 12-month good behaviour bond which required the man to undertake anger management and victim awareness courses.

 

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