The man stalked his former partner for 15 months from 2018 to early this year, folling her around Gympie and loitering near her house. Photo: iStock
The man stalked his former partner for 15 months from 2018 to early this year, folling her around Gympie and loitering near her house. Photo: iStock

Serial Gympie stalker sent to jail

A SERIAL stalker will spend time in jail after he repeatedly targeted his former partner and followed her around Gympie, leaving her anxious, depressed and isolated.

The 58-year-old Kilkivan man sat in the dock of the Gympie District Court this week as details of his latest stalking offence against his ex-partner were heard.

The man was charged earlier this year after he followed the woman around Gympie, and was seen loitering around her rental property between October 31, 2018 and February 18, 2020.

The stalking had detrimental effects on the victim, who found him intimidating, and reported feelings of anxiety and depression, the court heard.

Judge Gary Long described the man’s offences as “sporadic” and said there were eight instances of stalking reported over those 15 months.

Mr Long said his behaviour did not express a threat of harm, but his actions were intimidating and considered harassment.

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The woman felt socially isolated, and was forced to change her position at work to be able to leave Gympie more often to avoid coming into contact with the stalker.

The man has a lengthy history of similar offences against the woman and a 10-year restraining order was placed on him in 2017, which prohibited him from contacting or attempting to contact her, approaching her, harassing or intimidating her, entering, going to or loitering near her home or work, or threatening her.

The court heard his repeated offences against the woman, which included stalking her between 2015 and 2016, were in breach of numerous court orders, suspended sentences, bail and probation conditions, which were “all breached in one way or another.”

“Whatever relationship you had with her is over,” Mr Long said.

“She wants to move on and you need to move on.”

The man’s defence lawyer said his client had been involved with his former partner for several years, and that the offending was “fairly minor in nature.”

He also said the man had taken steps to move away from Gympie so he would not run into the woman, and he has been living in Kilkivan for eight months.

He has not reoffended since being arrested in February, and is still employed in Gympie, as a floor worker for the Endeavour Foundation.

The court heard the man had a cognitive impairment, and had previously been on a disability support pension before starting with the Endeavour Foundation, where he was “well-regarded.”

“The problem is the repetition of your offending,” Mr Long said.

“What happens after a period of time is that you revert to similar conduct that has a significant impact on her.”

Mr Long said his sentence needed to instil in him how “unacceptable” the offences were.

For breaching his 2017 probation order, the man was resentenced to one year in prison for stalking the woman between September 2015 and November 2016.

On the stalking charge before the court, Mr Long sentenced him to two years in prison.

His parole eligibility date was set at December 15, after he spends three months in custody.

Mr Long said the restraining order made in 2017 would remain in place for 10 years from this week.