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Stalking

Other Criminal Offences – WA

Welcome to the WA Stalking article page. Everything you need to know about Stalking according to WA Law.

What the Law states according to WA Law for Stalking

According to WA Law for the charge of Stalking,

Section 338E: There are two separate offences for stalking:

(1) A person who pursues another person with intent to intimidate that person, or a third person, is guilty of a crime; and
(2) A person who pursues another person in a manner that could reasonably be expected to intimidate, and that does in fact intimidate that person or a third party, is guilty of a simple offence.

“Intimidate” includes:

(1) Causing physical or mental harm to that person;
(2) Causing apprehension of fear in that person;
(3) Preventing that person from doing an act which that person is lawfully entitled to do, or to hinder that person from doing such an act; and
(4) Compelling a person to do an act that the person is lawfully entitled to abstain from doing.

“Pursue” includes:

(1) To repeatedly communicate with that person, whether directly or indirectly and whether in words or otherwise;
(2) To repeatedly follow the person;
(3) To repeatedly cause the person to receive unsolicited items;
(4) To watch or beset the place which the person lives or works or happens to be, or who approaches such a place; or
(5) Whether or not repeatedly, to do any of the above things in breach or a restraining order or bail conditions.

The Maximum Penalty – Stalking

According to WA Law for the charge of Stalking:

Where the person is found guilty of stalking with intent to intimidate: if the matter is heard in the District Court the maximum penalty is 3 years imprisonment, or 8 years imprisonment if the act is committed in circumstances of aggravation.
If the matter is heard in the Magistrate’s Court the maximum penalty is 18 months imprisonment and a fine of $18,000, or 2 years imprisonment and a fine of $24,000 if the act is committed in circumstances of aggravation.

If the person is found guilty of stalking which could reasonably be expected to intimidate: The maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment and a fine of $12,000.

What the Police must prove according to WA Law for Stalking

For the offence of intending to intimidate the Police must prove:

(1) That the accused pursued the other person;
(2) That the act of pursuing the other person was repeated; and
(3) That the accused pursued the person with an intention to intimidate that person or a third party.

The Police to not have to prove that the person was in fact intimidated.

For the offence of stalking which could reasonably be expected to intimidate, the Police must prove:

(1) That the accused pursued the other person;
(2) That the act of pursuing was repeated;
(3) That the act of pursuing could be expected to intimidate a reasonable person;
(4) That the person being pursued was in fact intimidated.

Possible Defences under WA Law – Stalking

(a) That the accused had a lawful right to pursue the person;
(b) That the accused did not know that the person lived or worked at the place they are being accused of watching or besetting, identification (ie. the person accused is not the person who was stalking the person); and
(c) Insanity.

If the allegation is of intent to intimidate, it is a defence that the person did not intend to communicate with that person or that he did not intend to intimidate.

If the allegation is of stalking which could reasonably be expected to intimidate, it is a defence that the other person was not in fact intimidated. This is not a defence for stalking with intent.

In WA which court will hear the matter – Stalking

The matter can be heard in the District Court or the Magistrate’s Court if the matter is being dealt with summarily.

Stalking is an ‘either-way’ offence. Therefore, the offence is most often dealt with in the Magistrate’s Court. However, if the stalking is particularly serious, or if the offender is also facing other charges which are dealt with in the District Court, then the Prosecution can make an application for the stalking charge to be committed to the District Court.

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