A man who tracked a woman's movements via her phone and sent her abusive messages will not have to spend any further time in prison but must undertake a 12-month community corrections order, including a program to address his behaviour.
Benjamin Nolan pleaded guilty earlier this month to stalking, unlawful assault, persistent contravention of an intervention order, criminal damage, using methamphetamine and contravening a community corrections order in relation to offending that occurred this year.
Magistrate Michael King sentenced Nolan in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Thursday to the 48 days of custody he had already served, as well as a year-long community corrections order.
This included conditions he undergo treatment for his drug use and a men's behavioural change program.
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During his period of offending, the 29-year-old remotely accessed the victim's phone through his own, locked her out of her device and tracked her movements.
He even deleted offers of accommodation she received while she was looking for a new place to live.
The Huntly resident became aggressive towards the victim on more than one occasion and once grabbed her phone and threw it, causing it damage.
On one occasion, Nolan stole the victim's phone and took $50 out of her wallet, and threatened to post nude images of her on social media.
The victim woke in the middle of the night to Nolan shining a torch at her, which he used to hit her hand.
Nolan also sent her abusive and insulting text messages, including one in which he threatened to break her legs.
At the time, Nolan was subject to an intervention order that explicitly prohibited such behaviour.
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The victim went to police and told them she believed Nolan's behaviour was escalating.
Nolan was then arrested. In interview, he admitted to sending "disgusting and brutal" text messages.
He also said he accessed her phone via his and used it to follow her movements.
Dr King sentenced Nolan to a community corrections order after an assessment found him suitable.
But Dr King stressed that Nolan's offences were serious - so serious he had earlier refused him bail.
The magistrate said Nolan was giving him a chance to get his life back on track, but if he committed this sort of offending again, he would face further jail time.
During Nolan's plea hearing on June 5, Dr King acknowledged the long-term consequences such violence could have on its victims and others exposed to it.
"This is an insidious community problem," he said.
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