Woman traumatised after stalking incident

The Condon Street end of Kennington Reservoir. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

The Condon Street end of Kennington Reservoir. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

A WOMAN who was stalked by a man while she was out running last year is still too traumatised to compose a victim impact statement.

Keith West, 32 of Bendigo, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to one count of stalking.

The court heard West started following the woman while she was running along the Condon Street end of the Kennington Reservoir about 8.25pm on November 18.

Prosecuting Sergeant David Somerton said the woman noticed West sitting in his car, with dark tinted windows, watching her.

Sergeant Somerton said the woman kept running but then noticed West drive from the car park and along Condon Street towards her.

"The accused drove his car very slowly past the complainant," he said.

Sergeant Somerton said West continued to watch the woman who started to become concerned about his behaviour.

She used her mobile phone to call her father and told him "a man in a white commodore was watching her and he was scaring her".

The court heard West continued to keep the woman under observation and eventually left his car and started walking towards her.

Sergeant Somerton said she was "terrified about the intentions of the accused" and phoned her father again.

"Her father believed she was crying and the situation was extremely serious," Sergeant Somerton said.

The woman's father and younger brother came to her rescue and found her in a "visibly hysterical" condition.

West drove past in his car and the woman's father noted his registration number before making a report to police.

During a police interview, West denied following the woman, watching her and getting out of his vehicle before following her along Condon Street.

In sentencing, Magistrate Bruce Cottrill said stalking was a charge deserving of a term of imprisonment.

But Cottrill took into account West's plea of guilty and psychiatric history.

West was sentenced to a two-year community corrections order and 300 hours unpaid community work.

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