A woman was stalked by her estranged husband for 38 days, in actions an Ipswich judge described as ‘terrorising’.
A woman was stalked by her estranged husband for 38 days, in actions an Ipswich judge described as ‘terrorising’.

Ice addict ‘terrorised’ former wife for 38 days

A MAN broke into his estranged wife's car and hid in the back, suddenly appearing while she was driving, in a series of disturbing offences detailed in court this week.

Ipswich District Court heard the man also smashed the victim's home security, broke into her home, sent messages and watched her movements when she went out.

His behaviour formed five intense weeks of terror in which he stalked the woman unrelentingly.

An Ipswich judge called it "fearsome conduct" in which the woman felt terrorised.

After reading the full Crown prosecution facts, he referred to the episode as something akin to "a thriller movie", which only stopped when police intervened.

Judge Michael Byrne QC made the comments when the man appeared before Ipswich District Court for sentence on a series of domestic violence related offences.

The husband was not said to have threatened or committed any act of actual violence.

His addiction to ice was said to be a contributing factor to his offending.

On Wednesday the 44-year-old man pleaded guilty to unlawful stalking of the woman in contravention of a court order; eight counts of contravening a domestic violence order; and four counts of breaching bail conditions.

Crown prosecutor Amanda Robinson said the offender was 43 at the time of the offences, which took place over 38 days in 2020.

"He was repeatedly going to her house. Watching her and by electronic means. He followed her to a bank, stopping a transaction," Ms Robinson said.

"He entered her dwelling, breaking home security.

"He entered her vehicle then revealed himself in the back seat. Accessed her online accounts, discovered her new phone number and contacted her.

"His conduct persisted even after he was first arrested and charged.

"He was fixated upon her. It appears he was also struggling with a methylamphetamine addiction."

Ms Robinson said he was first arrested and charged in March last year, then arrested and placed into custody on April 16.

He spent 10 months in jail until his release in February.

The prosecutor said the Crown accepted the written defence submission that there had been no threat of physical harm.

Defence barrister Daniel Boddice said prison was a blessing in disguise for his client, who was battling drug addiction.

"Has taken positive steps in rehabilitation," Mr Boddice said.

Judge Byrne said the prosecution facts before him revealed the man's conduct was like something from a thriller movie.

"He breaks into her car then his head pops up from the back seat. Then (in a separate incident) she walks into her house and he comes around the corner inside," Judge Byrne said.

Mr Boddice said the man could not easily walk away from a 23-year marriage after it broke down.

"He is now very aware of the consequences if he breaches the domestic violence order," Mr Boddice said.

"Emotions have cooled after the 10 months he has been remanded in custody."

Judge Byrne said he had material before him that shows what the man had done to assist himself, and his guilty plea meant his estranged wife did not have to give evidence.

He said the offences occurred over 38 days and were detailed in 10 pages of agreed Crown facts that revealed "just how fearsome your conduct was".

"She was terrorised," Judge Byrne said.

"You found yourself in the grip of methamphetamine. We see such effects in the courts all the time.

"It is a horrendous drug. What methylamphetamine does to otherwise normal, well-adjusted human beings."

The man was convicted and sentenced to a 2 ½ year jail order with immediate parole.

A protection order was extended by five years to March 2026, with the order varied to prohibit the man from taking photos of his former wife.



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