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I would like to take this opportunity to thank Armstrong Legal and specifically Mr Thomas Allen for representing me in my recent case. At the outset, I would like to thank Mr Allen for the very professional delivery of his legal service. From the first time that I met Mr Allen, I was very impressed with his demeanour and delivery as he made me feel at ease knowing the severity of my case. Mr Allen not only gave me the possible positive outcomes of the case but also the realisation of the worst-case scenario as far as sentencing goes. … I will certainly be recommending Armstrong Legal to any of my friends or family needing representation in criminal matters. Thank you so very much.
Thank you for your representation and help. Fingers crossed for the next step and parole. I just want to say that from the first phone call to your office, your service has been outstanding and have put my mind at ease. I am glad I picked your number to ring.
Thank you Armstrong Legal, the lawyers that have helped over the past 3 years but more importantly, thank you to Thomas Allen for the major part you and Mr Buckland played. Cannot thank you enough. Cheers.
Hi all. I would like to thank Ms Lisa Riley for all her help with my legal issues this past month. It was the most harrowing experience of my life and thanks to her expertise, professionalism and knowledge of the law, I came out almost unscathed. I have no hesitation in recommending Lisa Riley and Armstrong Legal if you need help. The service is amazing and the cost was very minimal for the great outcome. Thank you Lisa for helping me in the most difficult time.
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My whole life I was thrown away, you made me feel like I did mean something. I could not have asked for a better lawyer. Your compassion and love for your job is inspiring. Your upfront and honesty were muchly appreciated, you are a beautiful person. Thank you for not giving up on me and thank you for all the work you put in. I wish you all the best for the future and I will be recommending you to everyone I know. You're amazing!!!!
I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Stalking, Harassment and Threatening Behaviour
Stalking is an indictable offence which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. Stalking occurs when a person contacts, follows or engages in a course of conduct towards another person when that person does not want them to and it causes them fear or distress. Stalking can occur online and through social media networks and sites and can involve remotely accessing and hacking another person’s computer.
The Offence of Stalking
The offence of stalking is contained in the Crimes Act 1958 under section 21A. The offence has 2 elements:
- The accused intentionally engaged in a course of conduct that included conduct of the type described in s21A(2)(a)-(g); and
- The accused either:
- Committed that course of conduct with the intention of causing physical or mental harm to the victim, or of arousing apprehension or fear in the victim for his or her own safety or that of any other person; or
- Knew that engaging in a course of conduct of that kind would be likely to cause such harm, or arouse such apprehension or fear; or
- Ought to have understood that engaging in a course of conduct of that would be likely to cause such harm, or arouse such apprehension or fear, and it actually did have that result.
What Actions Constitute Stalking?
The course of conduct must be one of the types of conduct specified in s21A (2) of The Crime Act 1958, (these include following the victim, contacting the victim, publishing information on the internet, etc.). The matters set out in s21A(2) are not necessarily unlawful. It is these actions in a course of conduct directed at a person combined with a specific intent that constitutes the criminality of the offence.
While sections1A(2)(a)-(f) Crimes Act 1958 identifies particular forms or types of conduct, s 21(2)(g) is a ‘catch all’ provision, aimed at all other type of conducts which have the effect of arousing apprehension or fear in the victim for his or her own safety or that of any other person.
Types of conduct which may constitute stalking can include:
- Phoning, text messaging, leaving answering machine and voicemail messages;
- Sending letters, notes, faxes, email, ‘gifts’ or other unwanted material
- Harassment in online chat rooms or forums;
- Following, loitering outside a person’s home or workplace;
- Maintaining surveillance or spying, cyber-stalking and internet tracing
- Interfering with or damaging your property;
- Spreading malicious gossip;
- Making direct or indirect threats to harm another or their loved ones;
- Direct approaches which may result in physical assault.
What the Police Must Prove
In order for an accused to be found guilty of this offence, the police must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The accused engaged in course of conduct; and
- That conduct must have included conduct of the type and nature specified in s21A(2)(a)-(g); and
- The accused committed those acts intentionally.
Possible Defences for Stalking
Section 21A(4A) of the Crimes Act 1958, provides a defence to the charge of stalking for the accused to prove that the course of conduct was engaged in without malice, (meaning it was not intended to cause harm or apprehension) where the alleged conduct was done in the normal course of a lawful business, trade profession or enterprise; for the purpose of an industrial dispute; or for the purpose of engaging in political activities or discussion or communicating with respect to public affairs.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
As an indictable offence this matter can be heard in the County Court.
It is also an indictable matter which may be heard summarily in the Magistrates Court where the maximum penalty to be imposed is 2 years on a single charge, and 5 years on multiple charges.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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