The motive of an 80-year-old man who removed his partner of 15 years from a Mandurah aged care facility was "love and affection," a court has heard.
Ralph "Terry" Gibbs, was given a suspended jail sentence for taking Carol Lisle, 84 from Mercy Place Mandurah and attempting to drive her back to his Queensland home.
Magistrate Raelene Johnston told Perth Magistrates Court it was "sad" that the duo could no longer live together.
"I understand you had become unwell when the guardianship orders were made - the ending of your cohabitation with Ms Lisle must have been heartbreaking for you given the bond you had with your partner," Ms Johnston said.
She had read through a five-page letter from Mr Gibbs' daughter since last week's hearing and while it suggested the family disagreed with the guardianship orders of Ms Lisle and wanted to appeal them, it did not mitigate Mr Gibbs' actions.
"You have every right to pursue an application or to feel frustration - that is a human reaction," Magistrate Johnston said.
"But you cannot go against orders of the law simply because you disagree with them."
Referring to the three-day car journey where Mr Gibbs intended to take Ms Lisle to Queensland, Magistrate Johnston asked defence lawyer Matthew Blackburn to ask Mr Gibbs why he went against advice of strangers in Kalgoorlie who suggested he take Ms Lisle to hospital.
Mr Blackburn told the court Mr Gibbs said he had ensured there was plenty of water and he didn't believe Ms Lisle needed to go to hospital. Instead he had worked out which medical stops there were along the way if she did need medical attention, including a hospital near Uluru.
The prosecution said there was a large hospital in Kalgoorlie and that it would "make no sense" to take Ms Lisle to the regional centre instead.
Mr Blackburn asked the court to consider Mr Gibbs's lack of criminal record, cooperation upon police finding the couple in Kalgoorlie and his age, among other factors.
Magistrate Johnston said Mr Gibbs did not intend to harm Ms Lisle but his actions put her at risk.
The defence told the court Mr Gibbs "acted on pure emotion", which "can lead one astray at times".
Magistrate Johnston told the court that Mr Gibbs had previously been a "law abiding citizen" who had "achieved a lot of things in his life", but said the seriousness of his actions could not be overlooked.
"I accept your motive was one of love and affection, I do not doubt that - but your actions were totally misguided.
"Although you were motivated by love... you continued to place your wishes above her needs..."
Magistrate Johnston said she could only sentence Mr Gibbs to prison if no other sentence was available and due to the seriousness of the offence she concluded there was not.
She said she could only sentence to immediate imprisonment if no other sentence was available - deciding to instead sentence Mr Gibbs to a seven months suspended sentence which will be in place for 12 months.
Outside of the courtroom Mr Gibbs gave an emotional pre-written speech to reporters stating how much he missed Ms Lisle.
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