Stalk­ing con­vic­tions re­versed on ap­peal

Isis Town and Country - - News -

A PINE CREEK man has suc­cess­fully ap­pealed a con­vic­tion that saw a Mag­is­trate Court rule he was guilty of two counts of stalk­ing, fol­low­ing an on­go­ing dis­pute with his neigh­bours.

Court doc­u­ments show af­ter the ini­tial three-day trial in the Bund­aberg Mag­is­trates Court from May 12–14, 2014, Act­ing Mag­is­trate Mark Mor­row found Robert Peter Ralph guilty of stalk­ing Ian and Monique Ed­wards.

De­spite Mag­is­trate Mar­row re­ject­ing many of the acts al­leged by the Ed­wards, he did find three acts which he found proved the el­e­ments of the of­fence of stalk­ing in each case.

“The only in­ten­tional con­duct by Mr Ralph to­wards both Ian and Monique Ed­wards that has been proven be­yond rea­son­able doubt is the re­mov­ing of the sig­nage from the front grid on 23rd Jan­uary 2013; the plac­ing of a sign on the sec­ond grid in re­la­tion to ‘No Tres­passers’ and the ‘dick­head’ or ‘mas­tur­ba­tion’ ges­tures and the star­ing at them on 25th Fe­bru­ary, 2013,” he said.

“The ev­i­dence of prior hos­til­ity to Ed­wards sup­ports the con­clu­sion that the con­duct was in­ten­tion­ally di­rected at them.”

But in a writ­ten de­ci­sion last week, Judge John Robert­son said it was plainly un­rea­son­able and il­log­i­cal to find be­yond a rea­son­able doubt that the pros­e­cu­tion had sat­is­fied the el­e­ments of the charges.

“This was a case of mu­tual com­bat, with both sides be­hav­ing badly at times,” he said.

“It is im­pos­si­ble to rec­on­cile his Hon­our’s con­clu­sions.

“Ver­dicts of ac­quit­tal are en­tered in re­la­tion to both charges.”

A two-year re­strain­ing or­der against Ralph and fine was also set aside.

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