Phone stalker gets jail time for multiple AVO breaches

A MAN who breached an AVO to bombard his ex-partner with unwanted phone calls and messages for months, and stole a security camera from her home, will now have more than a year to contemplate his actions behind bars.

John Clarke was yesterday sentenced to a series of jail terms for 10 counts of breaching an apprehended violence order, four counts of using a carriage service to menace or harass, and two counts of stalking and/or intimidation.

His earliest release date has been set for December 31, 2017.

The 34-year-old was in custody for other matters when he appeared via audio-visual link in Grafton Local Court to plead guilty to all matters on Monday morning.

Among the numerous allegations were that he attempted to phone the victim 90 times in the space of 24 hours in May, filling her voicemail inbox with messages.

He also left flowers and a Mother's Day card on her doorstep at 1am that morning, at an address he wasn't meant to be privy to. Days later he stole a security camera from the front of her house. In June, Clarke threw a cigarette lighter in a bandanna outside the house she was living in and posted a picture of the bandanna on Facebook with the accompanying message: "I seem to have lost something."

In July, he sent 74 Facebook messages to her from a false profile under the name 'Brad Johnson', including one which read, " have you finished being the town s*** because I've had enough of you. Please call me."

During his appearance on Monday, Clarke's defence solicitor said there were indications his ex-partner was sending mixed messages to Clarke about their relationship status and future during the period of his offending, which had encouraged him to continue to attempt communication.

"He's got the message now," the defence solicitor added.

But at sentencing yesterday, Magistrate Denes said that had no bearing on the fact he was in direct breach of orders which were clearly set out in an AVO and bail conditions set in Maclean Local Court in March.

In sentencing Clarke to jail, she said it was about sending a message to the community and protecting the vulnerable against the repetition of violence.

"What more can be done if you have an AVO... and they continually breach it?



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