Patricia and Martin Brown outside court.
Patricia and Martin Brown outside court.

Mum and son duo stalk neighbours, front court

FOR almost 11 months, Patricia Brown and her son Martin Brown embarked on a campaign to stalk their hairdresser neighbour.

Brown, 62, faced Bundaberg District Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to the unlawful stalking offence.

The court heard the stalking started in April last year and ran to March this year.

The issue with the business arose when the owner, Melanie Reeves, decided to turn the house into her a hair salon.

Crown prosecutor Jacqueline Ball told the court the offending involved Brown staring and yelling derogatory comments.

The court heard in April last year Brown and her son went into the business demanding a fence be fixed while there were customers in the building.

Brown had also filmed Ms Reeves and posted videos and photos on social media where she made comments including "karma is coming and it's going to be like a bomb going off".

Ms Ball said Ms Reeves had lost staff, clients and suffered financially because of Brown's behaviour.

The court heard Ms Reeves and her staff became fearful when they would see the Browns staring at them and customers were also in fear of their safety.

Brown's barrister Callan Cassidy said, although his client was involved in the stalking, it was her son that the complainant and her staff were scared of.

Mr Cassidy said Brown was aware of how serious the offending was after spending time in custody and it was a "wake up call to her".

Judge Anthony Rafter described the stalking as a "deliberate", "determined" and a "persistent" campaign.

"This conduct is so disproportionate … this is just dreadful conduct," he said.

"Staff left the business, she lost clients and the business suffered financially."

Ms Brown was sentenced to nine months imprisonment with immediate parole release.

She was also given a restraining order until 2024 which prohibits her from going near Ms Reeves, going near or looking at clients of the hairdressing business and also posting about the victim and her business on social media.

Ms Brown reappeared in Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday where she pleaded guilty to a further stalking charge and breaking bail conditions, put in place after she was initially charged.

She was handed concurrent sentences of nine months imprisonment, with immediate parole, and fined $300.

Martin Brown, 22, pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful stalking and contravening an order about information necessary to access information stored electronically in May.

He is remanded in custody after also being charged with breaching bail conditions.

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