BEC’S SERIAL PEST
Maddern joins list of top stars bullied and intimidated
Bec Maddern is one of several TV stars who have allegedly been harassed by a crazed man. The Sunday Herald Sun can reveal Maddern, newsreader Jennifer Keyte and TV executives have all allegedly been targeted by the man charged with stalking Nine newsreader Peter Hitchener
REBECCA Maddern has joined a list of high-profile Melbourne TV identities to allegedly fall victim to a serial pest charged with stalking Peter Hitchener. The man is said to have first targeted Maddern when she was at Channel 7, as well as colleague Jennifer Keyte and key executives including Melbourne managing director Lewis Martin. The campaign of pest behaviour allegedly began around three years ago and included sending electronic messages. It is believed Channel 7 took measures to protect its talent and at some time in the past year he became fixated on Channel 9’s Melbourne news anchor Peter Hitchener. It is believed the man had previously been employed by Channel 7. “This guy has been a pest for a very long time,” an industry source said. Another said: “He is known. We refer to him as a serial pest.” He is also believed to have targeted media executives including David Gyngell and politicians, and posted messages on a major retailer’s Facebook page urging them to stop supporting the Nine network. After months of abuse on social media, Hitchener took action, calling in the police to address the increasingly distressing situation and obtaining an intervention order.
Victoria Police confirmed on Friday that a 48-year-old man had been charged with stalking, using a carriage service to harass, using a carriage service to menace and breach of a court order.
Investigators from Port Phillip CIU arrested the man at his home on Wednesday morning.
He later appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court where he was granted bail to undergo psychiatric assessment.
He will reappear in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.
Former Channel 10 and Channel 7 news and current affairs presenter Helen Kapalos said dealing with serial pests was a sad reality of having a public profile.
Ms Kapalos, who is now the chair of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, said that while she had never had dealings with the man accused of harassing Hitchener, she had been targeted by several individuals during her TV career. “It is an unfortunate reality, but one that people in the public eye have to live with,” Ms Kapalos said.
“It is very distressing when it happens. I had about a dozen cases that needed to be monitored over a 12year period when I was working in the media.’’
JENNIFERKEYTE REBECCAMADDERN LEWISMARTIN DAVIDGYNGELL PETERHITCHENER