Stalker jailed for a year

A CRIMINAL history that began after the break-up of a 17-year relationship ended in a jail sentence for a Gladstone man.

Richard Ibbotson appeared in Gladstone District Court via video link from Capricornia Correctional Centre.

Crown prosecutor Shaun Gordon told the court Ibbotson had been charged with unlawful stalking, contravening a court order, possessing dangerous drugs, three counts of breach of domestic violence orders, failure to dispose of a syringe and unlawful possession of weapons. Ibbotson pleaded guilty to all charges.

The offences occurred over a three-day period between May 13 and May 16. The 38-year-old had a recent history of domestic violence order breaches and had spent 74 days in pre-sentence custody.

Mr Gordon explained how there had been a build-up of abuse and violence since the break-up, including personal, telephone and text threats. The defendant’s ex-partner provided a victim impact statement for the judge’s consideration.

On May 16 the victim was told the defendant was waiting for her in her front yard with an axe.

Ibbotson had sent a text saying ‘I’m gonna slice you from your throat to your (deleted) and it is a promise not a threat. If you go to the cops you’ll be dead’.

When police arrived there was no sign of Ibbotson. Defence barrister David Murray said the stalking offences only occurred over a short period of time.

“My client lost control of his emotions and suffers from depression,” he said.

Judge Koppenol noted that the defendant’s criminal history only began after the break-up of his relationship.

“The victim impact statement shows that you have caused serious negative emotional and financial hardship to your ex-partner,” Judge Koppenol said.

Ibbotson was sentenced to 12 months jail for the stalking charge with the time he has already served deemed as part of the sentence.

A parole release date was set for September 16. Convictions were recorded for all of the other charges but no further punishment was ordered.

Also, drugs for personal use was at the centre of a court case in Gladstone Magistrates Court last Thursday.

Steven Weston O’Toole pleaded guilty to failure to properly dispose of a needle, two counts of possessing utensils and two counts of possessing dangerous drugs. Police prosecutor Constable Troy Daubaras said that at 8.15am on July 19 police executed a warrant on a Starmer Court address.

During the search they found half a gram of amphetamines, 7.5g of cannabis, a pipe, scissors and a syringe. Duty lawyer Brad Krebs said his client had the drugs for personal use. The scaffolder was fined $1100 or 14 days in jail with convictions recorded.


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