Stalking and Using a Carriage Service to Harass

Man Drinking and UnhappyOur client was charged with Stalking and Using a Carriage Service to Harass. The conduct involved him sending extremely sexually explicit and suggestive messages to his 18-year old niece (by marriage). The messaging was such that she became extremely concerned given the inappropriate and unusual nature of the content. She told her parents, who in turn called the police.

Kristina Kothrakis represented the client at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

The client is a man in his 40’s who was going through a very difficult time personally. His marriage was breaking down and he was chronically unhappy. He was drinking a lot to try and help him through.

He explained that he misconstrued some messages he received from her, believing he was interested in him in a sexual way. He was incorrect. Once this all came to light, his marriage finally ended. He was so embarrassed and humiliated by his conduct that he became suicidal.

His conduct was a result of him losing himself following years of depression and unhappiness. Through the help of a psychologist, he was able to work through these issues and rebuild his life. By the time of the court hearing, he had done around 9 months of counselling. His life had improved significantly and he was in a new relationship.

The matter proceeded as a plea of guilty to one charge of Using a Carriage Service to Harass. The charge of Stalking was struck out. Kristina was able to persuade the prosecution to withdraw the Stalking charge on the basis that the conduct did not meet the definition of Stalking. She was able to place the conduct into a context which the magistrate could understand, and was effective in having the magistrate accept that he was at a low risk of re-offending.

It was a good outcome for a case of Stalking and Using a Carriage Service to Harass. Following submissions, the client was convicted and fined.
 

Elements of Stalking:

  • The accused followed the victim or any other person;
  • The accused contacted the victim or any other person by post, telephone, fax, text message, e-mail or other electronic communication or by any other means whatsoever;
  • The accused published on the internet or by an e-mail or other electronic communication to any person a statement or other material:
    • relating to the victim or any other person; or
    • purporting to relate to, or to originate from, the victim or any other person;
  • The accused caused an unauthorised computer function (within the meaning of Subdivision (6) of Division 3) in a computer owned or used by the victim or any other person;
  • The accused traced the victim’s or any other person’s use of the internet or of e-mail or other electronic communications;
  • The accused entered or loitered outside or near the victim’s or any other person’s place of residence or of business or any other place frequented by the victim or the other person;
  • The accused interfered with property in the victim’s or any other person’s possession (whether or not the offender has an interest in the property);
  • The accused made threats to the victim;
  • The accused used abusive or offensive words to or in the presence of the victim;
  • The accused performed abusive or offensive acts in the presence of the victim;
  • The accused directed abusive or offensive acts towards the victim;
  • The accused gave offensive material to the victim or any other person or left it where it will be found by, given to or brought to the attention of, the victim or the other person;
  • The accused kept the victim or any other person under surveillance;
  • The accused acted in any other way that could reasonably be expected:
    • to cause physical or mental harm to the victim, including self-harm; or
    • to arouse apprehension or fear in the victim for his or her own safety or that of any other person

    with the intention of causing physical or mental harm to the victim, including self-harm, or of arousing apprehension or fear in the victim for his or her own safety or that of any other person.

 
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Kristina KothrakisKristina Kothrakis

Kristina has significant experience in criminal trials and also holds a degree in Science, majoring in Psychology, an invaluable area of knowledge, as many of her clients suffer from psychological disorders.

Kristina strives to achieve the best possible result for all her clients. Skilled, decisive and assertive, Kristina demonstrates dedication, care and professionalism at all times.

Visit Kristina’s profile to read more about her background and experience.
 


DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 15/04/2019