A letter given to a Canberra school by a student describing alleged domestic violence by his stepfather led to the arrest of a Coombs man, a court has heard.
The ACT Magistrates Court on Saturday heard the note was handed to the school and police were called.
Court documents said the letter was written by the student's mother, who had been cut off from the phone and internet by her partner. It described a situation of domestic violence within the family home, with the mother requesting help to deal with it.
The man, 64, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the children, was arrested after the school notified police.
He was charged with destroying or damaging property.
Magistrate Peter Morrison said while bail would usually be granted for property damage charges, the circumstances of the alleged domestic violence incident "can't be ignored".
Court documents said an argument broke out at the Coombs home between the defendant and the mother at 4.30pm on August 8.
It's alleged the man told the mother to stay at home and cook, rather than studying and working, before he allegedly threw plates, glasses and a laptop across the room.
The man is also alleged to have pointed a knife at his stepson, before saying to him "I'm going to f***ing kill your bird".
The boy and his younger brother left the home to go to a nearby park and returned at 11pm to find their mother and the defendant still arguing, court documents said.
Following his arrest, the 64-year-old was taken to hospital after he required medical treatment, and was discharged back into police custody early on Saturday morning.
The defendant told the court he was the sponsor of the woman's visa in Australia for the past few years and had only recently become a permanent resident in the country.
The 64-year-old has no criminal history, but prosecutors said if released on bail he could intimidate witnesses and harass the family.
Magistrate Morrison said while it's unusual for bail to be refused for the charge, he described the alleged incident as a "frightening picture of a family affected by violence" and the defendant was "too great a risk".
No plea was entered and bail was refused.
The man will appear before court again on August 28.