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A person who is charged with the crime of stalking and convicted thereon will suffer the maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

 

The Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) specifically section 21A defines stalking as a deliberate and intentional pursuit of a person by another person causing the former to be frightened or suffer mental anguish for fear of her or his safety by committing the following conducts, to with:

1). Following the victim or other person
2). Contacting the victim through telephone, fax, emails, other electronic communications or in any other means like publication in the internet materials relating to the victim or other person which message or material originally came from the victim or tracing the victim’s use of the internet or email or other electronic communication
3). Entering or loitering outside the victim’s house or other person’s house near the victim of places frequented by the victim.
4). Interfering with the property possessed by the victim or by any other person
5).making threats to the victim
6). Keeping the victim under surveillance

A person who is charged with the crime of stalking and convicted thereon will suffer the maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. The defense that could be interposed by the criminal offender is that he or she has no intention to cause fear or physical and mental harm to the complainant. It is a lawful defense also in this case that the conduct committed which constitute the crime of stalking is in pursuance of industrial dispute, or committed in the normal course of business, occupation or profession, or for the purpose of engaging in political discussion, and the commission of which was done without malice on the part of the person charged. The burden of proof rests on the accused to prove that it was done without malice.

Under the same section of the Act, the offender has the intention to cause personal or mental harm if he or she is aware that engaging in that conduct would create fear to the other person or that he understood what he or she is doing.

There is no stalking committed by any person who stalks another as a consequence of the performance of official duty to enforce criminal law, administration o f any Act, execution of a warrant, enforcement of pecuniary penalty or protection of revenue.

Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 which expressly repealed the Stalking Intervention Orders Act 2008 may be availed of by the offended party by applying for the same. In the issuance of the order the court may inquire whether the respondent has firearms licence.

The person against whom the order (whether interim or final) was issued will be directed to surrender any firearms or ammunitions he possessed and his firearms licence is suspended and cancelled by virtue of the said order. Failure to comply with this Court order, he will be criminally liable. No right to appeal the cancellation of the firearms licence is afforded to the defendant.

A person who was served with the Personal Safety Intervention Orders has the option either to submit to alternative dispute resolution in the form of mediation or apply to revoke the interim order or intervention order.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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