Unlawful Stalking

Stalking is an offence under chapter 33A of the Criminal Code.

The offence is defined under section 359B as conduct which intentionally directed at a person on one or more occasions. If it is on only one occasion, the conduct must be protracted to constitute stalking. Furthermore, the conduct must consist of one or more of the following acts:

  • Following, loitering near, watching or approaching a person
  • Contacting a person in any way
  • Loitering near, watching, approaching or entering a place where a person lives, works or visits
  • Leaving offensive material where it will be found by, given to or brought to the attention of, a person
  • Giving offensive material to a person, directly or indirectly
  • Intimidating, harassing or threatening, regardless of whether or not actual violence against the person or their property is involved

The acts must be such that they would reasonably cause the victim apprehension or fear for themselves or their property. Alternatively, the act may reasonably cause detriment to the stalked person.

There are a number of immaterial factors for stalking. These are listed in section 359D and include:

  • Whether the defendant intended the stalked person to be aware of the conduct
  • Whether the stalked person was the person intended to be stalked
  • Whether actual apprehension, fear or detriment was actually caused.

The maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment. However, the defendant may be sentenced to up to 7 years imprisonment if violence is threatened, or the defendant possesses a weapon, or threatens to contravene an injunction. Furthermore, under section 359F, the court has the power to make restraining orders in relation to stalking – knowingly contravening these orders may result in 1 year imprisonment.

Robertson O’Gorman represents people charged with sexual offences. Call us today on 3034 0000.