Man, 73, who stalked his wife of 46 years set free

A 73-YEAR-OLD man who stalked his former wife after the breakdown of their 46-year marriage has walked free from jail after serving 17 days in pre-sentence custody.

In the Bundaberg District Court on Thursday the defendant pleaded guilty to one count of stalking between November 2013 and December 2014.

The court heard the complainant quit her two jobs and attempted to start a fresh life but the defendant continued to harass her, even after she took out a protection order and he was warned by police to leave the complainant alone.

Crown prosecutor Susan Hedge told the court the complainant left the defendant after year's of verbal and physical abuse.

Ms Hedge said the defendant's continued contact  with complainant included sending her threatening letters, sending her a mobile phone installed with a Find My Friend App and following her.

Ms Hedged said one occasion the complainant was followed in her car by the defendant and she had to drive through a number of streets to escape.

She said the complainant also modified her own behaviour and became increasing anxious.

"She refrained from doing things like visiting her mother for fear he (the defendant) may turn on her mother," Ms Hedge said.

In his client's defence, defence barrister Stephen Courtney said the defendant was undergoing cancer treatment during the period of

offending and had acted irrationally after the breakdown of the long-standing relationship.

"He was not the model husband," he said.

Mr Courtney said his client was now in remission, had moved on and had the support of his brother and a friend in court.

In sentencing, Judge Tony Moynihan said the complainant was afraid of the defendant and did not want contact with him after they separated.

He said the defendant's letters had tried to manipulate the complainant and make her pity him.

"The disturbing and nasty letters continued," he said.

"She was understandably very anxious."

The defendant was sentenced to six months jail, suspended after 17 days.

Topics:  court editors picks family violence stalking

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