Mental illness affected the woman but she had made good progress since. (FILE PHOTO)
Mental illness affected the woman but she had made good progress since. (FILE PHOTO) milicad

'Cult' survivor who stalked doctor can work with kids

A SURVIVOR of a cult who stalked her psychologist, threatening to blow the doctor's head off, has successfully fought a ban on working with children.

The woman, whose name is suppressed, left the religious group in the mid-1990s and developed the hair pulling disorder known as trichotillomania.

She then developed a delusional infatuation for her psychologist, according to a newly-published Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal decision.

After a Hervey Bay hearing earlier this year, QCAT Member John Milburn described the woman's upbringing.

"She and her siblings were raised to accept the teachings of a religious group that she described as a cult. She had little by way of outside friendships and lived a sheltered life," he said.

After leaving the cult aged 25, the woman was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive and borderline personality disorders.

She spent four years as a mental health clinic patient.

She battled depression and anxiety and was coming to terms with her sexuality.

To get the doctor's home address, she lied to the Transport Department, saying they had had a crash.

The QCAT judgment detailed how in 2000, despite not having a gun, she threatened to blow the doctor's "head and kneecaps off".

The year after, she pleaded guilty to a charge of stalking.

QCAT heard she now wanted to help other people and contribute to society and a Blue Card would help with these aspirations.

The woman had started studying a TAFE Certificate in Mental Health.

The Blue Card system related to monitoring people who wished to work with children and aimed to prevent risks to young people.

Because of her stalking offence and mental health, the Department of Justice and Attorney-General rejected the woman's Blue Card application.

The woman appealed.

"I have been supported and counselled by various clinicians and doctors and support workers over the years, who have all contributed in different ways to my growth and maturity," she told the tribunal.

"I believe my recovering journey is a lifelong one, for I hope there will always be something left to learn and some room for further growth. As, I think, so it is for the majority of people who walk this planet."

A doctor told QCAT a recurrence of the troublesome behaviour was unlikely if the woman was "in a meaningful endeavour with adequate supervision".

Another doctor said the stalking was attention-seeking, "not predatory".

Mr Milburn said the offending behaviour did not involve children.

"The sole focus must be upon children."

Mr Milburn said it would be "in the best interests of children" for QCAT to overturn the decision. - NewsRegional


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