DESPAIR: File photo depicting a young woman subject to online aggression.
DESPAIR: File photo depicting a young woman subject to online aggression. KatarzynaBialasiewicz

FACEBOOK STALKER: 'I'll hurt you, I'm outside'

A YOUNG Southside man with mental health issues caused such fear to his victim that she no longer felt safe at home or out in the open, Gympie Magistrates Court was told this week.

Police told the court the man had become angry after developing unrequited "intimate feelings for her".

Scott Gerhardt, 25, pleaded guilty to stalking the woman on January 23. The court was told she had accepted a Facebook "friend request" in September last year.

The court was told he had contacted her by texts, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. He had also threatened to send photographs to her relatives.

When she blocked him on Facebook, he sent threatening messages saying he would "deal with her, hurt her" and that he was "waiting outside her house".

When asked why he could not "just leave me alone", he replied: "I ask you a question and you get like this. Now I'm going to see you." He then sent three Instagram friend requests.

She "felt scared, uncomfortable and was accompanied to her car when leaving work and kept all doors and windows in her house locked".

Friends noticed "changes in her behaviour", police said.

Gerhardt admitted to police he had contacted the woman's sister and other friends and said he did not know it was wrong.

"His actions were quite alarming and had a significant impact on the victim," the court was told.

His solicitor told the court Gerhardt was seeking psychiatric help and was now medicated. "He accepts he handled this about as badly as he possibly could," she said.

"He now understands this is not acceptable."

Magistrate Stephen Courtney placed Gerhardt on 18 months probation and ordered 80 hours community service with a five-year restraining order, to prevent any contact.

He also ordered a copy of the restraining order be provided to the victim so she would know to contact police should he have "anything to do with her".