A Gympie man kept his estranged wife prisoner for 11 hours in one of a string of offences he committed against her.
A Gympie man kept his estranged wife prisoner for 11 hours in one of a string of offences he committed against her.

Stalker took estranged wife hostage in night of terror

A GYMPIE region man kept his estranged wife prisoner for 11 hours, sent her 1,100 messages and impersonated a police officer during a string of offences against her earlier this year.

The 39-year-old began a 10-day reign of abuse and terror over his victim after police were called to their address and placed her under emergency accommodation.

He tried to contact her 1,100 times by through text messages phone calls and Facebook between January 7 and 16, in a manner described to the Gympie District Court as

"relentless, harassing, threatening and intimidating".

The court heard at one point the man threatened to commit suicide and burn their house down, accused her of cheating on him and made threats of violence and death about the other man.

When that didn't work the man impersonated a police officer involved with the investigation, telling her she would be risking prison time if she didn't contact him.

Through those messages the man breached a police protection order and a domestic violence order served against him.

Between January 13 and 15 he rang the Imbil Police Station three times and went there in person once, demanding to know where his wife was and referring to her as his "property", which Judge Gary Long called a "particularly misguided notion".

It was on the 15th the man discovered his victim was visiting friends in Federal and turned up at the address, making more threats to the residents before grabbing her from behind, wrapping his arms around her chest and taking her away.

The next 11 hours saw the man carry the unwilling victim to a property 2km away, inflicting continued physical and verbal abuse on her and causing a "large scale" police search involving dogs and helicopters.

The pair appeared at a quarry the next morning, where a worker was alerted by the victim to call police.

When police arrived, the man was sleeping with his arms wrapped around the victim's legs. She was taken to hospital with extensive bruising, small cuts and abrasions.

But the man's offending didn't end there, as he made several attempts to contact her both himself and through his family members following his arrest.

He pleaded guilty to one count each of unlawful stalking with violence contravening a court order, deprivation of liberty, burglary, common assault, assault occasioning bodily harm, attempted stealing, attempting to enter premises and commit indictable offence, enter premises and commit indictable offence, contravention of a police protection notice and assuming the designation or description of a police officer.

Also on his rap sheet were eight contraventions of a domestic violence order.

Judge Long combined a one-year jail term for the stalking offence with a further two years for the deprivation of liberty, burglary and assault occasioning bodily harm charges.

He acknowledged the man had served 322 days in pre-sentence custody but did not designate his parole release date until January 16 next year, once he has served one third of the overall three year sentence he was given.

Gympie Times

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