Man stalks wife for months after marriage breakdown
A MAN who stalked his wife for months following the breakdown of their 24-year marriage has narrowly escaped jail time.
In February last year, the 50-year-old took his wife hostage on a drive around their Warwick property, verbally abusing her and throwing her phone to the ground so she was unable to call the police.
Police prosecutor Ken Wiggan told the Warwick Magistrates Court the man, who cannot be named, followed and harassed his ex and their two adult children on several other occasions in the following months.
Sgt Wiggan added the 50-year-old was last year convicted of several domestic violence offencesagainst his wife, and had been required to wear an ankle monitor ever since.
The father was also caught drug driving in December and found in possession of unknown quantities of meth and marijuana less than two weeks later.
Defence lawyer Michael Burrows said his client had used meth "intermittently" as a coping mechanism through the breakdown of his marriage and financial issues.
Magistrate Julian Noud called the father's behaviour "deplorable and shameful", and said there was "little evidence" the man was deterred by his prior convictions and punishments.
"It was violent, it was intended to intimidate the victim … his actions were calculated and designed to instil fear," MrNoud said.
"People endure relationship breakdowns all the time, and they don't resort to this type of offending."
The 50-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of contravening a domestic violence order, two counts of possessing dangerous drugs, and one count each of unlawful stalking, obstructing a police officer, breaching bail, and drug driving.
He was sentenced to 15 months' jail with immediate release on parole.
He was also placed on 18 months' probation, fined $850, and disqualified from driving for three months.
The man must attend a men's behaviour change program and counselling as part of his probation order.