Stalker made vic­tim ‘sick with nerves’

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - KAY DIBBEN

A SO­LIC­I­TOR who was stalked by her next-door neigh­bour over al­most three years has told of her on­go­ing fear of him, and of feel­ing “sick with nerves’’ won­der­ing what he would do next.

In a court vic­tim im­pact state­ment, Arna Duetz (pic­tured) said she felt she could never es­cape from “bo­gan’’ builder Steven Tara­siuk, who will spend five months in jail for stalk­ing her.

Mrs Duetz, who sold Tara­siuk a block of land next to her fam­ily’s river­side Ivy St, In­dooroop­illy home, said she feared for her own and her fam­ily’s safety.

She said she felt un­able to use her out­door ar­eas when he was around – even to check the let­ter­box – and be­lieved a CCTV cam­era on his house had been fo­cused on her bed­room.

“I felt that I could never es­cape him, even in the pri­vacy of my own home,’’ she said.

The stalk­ing be­gan af­ter she and an­other neigh­bour made com­plaints about his home­build­ing project. Even­tu­ally, both neigh­bours felt forced to sell their homes.

Mrs Duetz told Bris­bane District Court when she was in her yard he would cough and say “bitch’’ and there was ev­i­dence that he called her an “ugly f***ing dog bitch’’.

“Tara­siuk ap­peared to tar­get me per­son­ally with his er­ratic be­hav­iour,’’ Mrs Duetz said in her vic­tim state­ment. “He con­stantly be­lit­tled me, fright­ened me and made me feel very vul­ner­a­ble.’’ She said she found his pres­ence on his build­ing site af­ter dark par­tic­u­larly fright­en­ing, as she was of­ten home alone. “I would feel phys­i­cally sick with nerves when­ever I drove into our street, dread­ing what he would do next,’’ she said. On Fri­day, Tara­siuk, who was found guilty of stalk­ing Mrs Duetz but not guilty of stalk­ing his other ex-neigh­bour, David Coates, was sen­tenced to 15 months’ jail, sus­pended af­ter five months. Judge Dear­den im­posed a 10-year re­strain­ing or­der bar­ring him from con­tact with Mrs Duetz, Mr Coates and their fam­i­lies.

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