Section 13 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 contains the offence of ‘stalking or intimidating’.
It prescribes a maximum penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,500 for those who stalk or intimidates others with the intention of causing fear physical or mental harm.
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Section 13 of the Act provides that:
(1) A person who stalks or intimidates another person with the intention of causing the other person to fear physical or mental harm is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years or 50 penalty units, or both.
(2) For the purposes of this section, causing a person to fear physical or mental harm includes causing the person to fear physical or mental harm to another person with whom he or she has a domestic relationship.
(3) For the purposes of this section, a person intends to cause fear of physical or mental harm if he or she knows that the conduct is likely to cause fear in the other person.
(4) For the purposes of this section, the prosecution is not required to prove that the person alleged to have been stalked or intimidated actually feared physical or mental harm.
(5) A person who attempts to commit an offence against subsection (1) is guilty of an offence against that subsection and is punishable as if the offence attempted had been committed.
The definitions of ‘intimidation’ and ‘stalking’ are contained in sections 7 and 8 of the Act which state:
Section 7 “intimidation”
(1) For the purposes of this Act, “intimidation” of a person means:
(a) conduct amounting to harassment or molestation of the person, or
(b) an approach made to the person by any means (including by telephone, telephone text messaging, e-mailing and other technologically assisted means) that causes the person to fear for his or her safety, or
(c) any conduct that causes a reasonable apprehension of injury to a person or to a person with whom he or she has a domestic relationship, or of violence or damage to any person or property.
(2) For the purpose of determining whether a person’s conduct amounts to intimidation, a court may have regard to any pattern of violence (especially violence constituting a domestic violence offence) in the person’s behaviour.
Section 8 “stalking”
(1) In this Act, “stalking” includes the following of a person about or the watching or frequenting of the vicinity of, or an approach to, a person’s place of residence, business or work or any place that a person frequents for the purposes of any social or leisure activity.
(2) For the purpose of determining whether a person’s conduct amounts to stalking, a court may have regard to any pattern of violence (especially violence constituting a domestic violence offence) in the person’s behaviour.