Did you know that in New South Wales a person can be charged with stalking and/or intimidation?
Essentially what is required to bring about a charge of stalking and intimidation in New South Wales is that the relevant person stalks or intimidates someone else with the intention of causing that person to fear physical or mental harm.
What is the Punishment for Stalking and Intimidation in New South Wales
The offence of intimidation or stalking is a significant charge that if guilty brings with it a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
However, in reality, most people who are charged with stalking and intimidation in New South Wales rarely receive a custodial sentence, unless of course the conduct was of a very serious nature or was committed in association with other serious offences.
What Constitutes Stalking or Intimidation in New South Wales?
Stalking is defined under section 8 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007.
- conduct (including cyberbullying) amounting to harassment or molestation;
- an approach made by any means (including by telephone, telephone text messaging, e-mailing and other technologically assisted means) that causes the person to fear for their safety;
- conduct that causes a reasonable person to apprehend injury to them or another person with whom they have a domestic relationship; or
- conduct that causes a reasonable person to apprehend violence or damage to any person or property;
- following a person;
- approaching, watching or frequenting of the vicinity of a person’s place of residence, business or work or any place that a person frequents for the purposes of any social or leisure activity,
contacting or otherwise approaching a person using the internet or any other technologically assisted means.
Intimidation is defined under section 7 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007. Intimidation involves:
What are Examples of Stalking and Intimidation in New South Wales?
Invariably the type of behaviour that fits the charge is:
- repetitiously contacting a person, by calling, emailing, messaging, texting etc when they have told the offending person not to;
- threatening a person or their family;
- showing up repeatedly at someone’s house or work without first getting their permission or consent to do so.
Do you have to be fearful for stalking and intimidation to have occurred?
All is required for the Police to successfully execute a charge is proof that the person knew that their conduct was likely to cause fear in the other person. In other words, whether in fact, the person did actually have such fear is irrelevant.
What Should I Do If I Believe I an Being Stalked or Intimidated?
The first thing you must do promptly is to contact New South Wales Police. They will guide you with respect to the evidence that they will require to investigate and potentially charge the perpetrator.
What to Do If You Have Been Charged with Stalking or Intimidation in New South Wales (NSW)?
You need to seek prompt legal advice. These types of charges can potentially be used in association with other types of criminal charges.
Are There Examples of Stalking and Intimidation in New South Wales?
There are a number of high-profile cases of stalking and intimidation in New South Wales. For example:
In March 2020, James Lafferty from Grafton, New South Wales was convicted of intimidating and stalking the singer Delta Goodrem.
In that case, Lafferty was originally placed on an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) for his behaviour and subsequently breached the order by allegedly continuing to stalk Delta Goodrem.
The Police allege that Lafferty had sent over 300 poems via Instagram and later visited her residence.
In June 2020, former high-profile AFL player and coach, Dean Laidley was charged with stalking.
Police assert that he repeatedly stalked a woman he met on Tinder, repeatedly calling her phone (43 times in one day), visiting her home and taking photographs.
He is currently remanded in Custody.