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Jilted lover jailed for email stalking

'Worse than physical assault'

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An Australian man has been jailed for three months for sending offensive emails and making abusive and threatening phone calls. Nicholas Stacey, of Torquay, Victoria pleaded guilty to stalking and using a carriage service (public network) to offend.

Stacey was living in the US with his girlfriend when he returned to Australia in December 2003 to finalise his divorce from another woman. But his American girlfriend decided to end the relationship and asked him not to return to the US, according to Australian papers.

He didn't take the news well. He began making abusive phone calls - up to 40 a day. He then started sending threatening emails with explicit photos of him and his ex. These included pictures of Stacey receiving oral sex from his ex-girlfriend. In a four week period he sent 60 explicit photos to the woman's family, friends and workmates. Some included the caption "a cheating slut whore".

In January Stacey stopped the campaign. He said through his lawyer that he was disgusted with himself and put his actions down to some kind of mental breakdown - he is now having counselling for his problems.

The magistrate sentenced him to 12 months in jail, with 9 months suspended. He must also pay a fine of $2,500 plus $500 costs. The magistrate said in some ways the case was worse than a physical assault because of implications for the woman's future security and well-being. "This form of electronic material is out there in cyberspace and will remain there," he said. ®

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