Man hired PI to stalk ex-lover

A CONVICTED stalker who believed consummating a relationship meant a "contract for life" has lost his bid for appeal.

John Howard Amundsen, who was aged 46 and living on the Sunshine Coast at the time of offending, was convicted at trial of stalking a woman for nine months after their relationship ended.

The stalking included hiring a private investigator to follow her and using false names to harass or intimidate her by phone or online.

He also accessed her Bigpond and Vodafone accounts and changed her passwords.

Amundsen was sentenced to 3.5 years imprisonment, with parole eligibility set three months after sentence because of 284 days already served.

A restraining order was made for five years.

Amundsen argued in the Queensland Court of Appeal that the guilty verdict was suspect and a retrial necessary, saying the judge misdirected the jury, his victim had no fear of violence and he was wrongly not allowed to question the jury on their ideological beliefs.

Justice Philip Morrison, in a judgment handed down on Friday, rejected every appeal ground and found there was no merit in the appeal.

Aged 49 at sentence, Amundsen claimed he was the real victim, arguing he had simply pursued his former partner after a relationship breakdown to persuade her to resume the bond.

He argued his religious beliefs meant once a man and woman had sexual intercourse, it was a union for life, and therefore his actions could not constitute stalking.

"This is not a case of some mean-spirited mongrel of a human being trying to scare her. This is a man completely wracked with fear. I've been bastardised through my life and I have turned to each partner I've had to be that protector," he said at sentencing.

Amundsen's criminal history includes possessing large quantities of explosives, detonators and nails, and using a carriage service to make a threat to kill.

He sent emails purporting to be from al-Qaeda, threatening attacks. He blamed the parents of a former partner for a relationship breakdown and sought to scare them. - ARM NEWSDESK


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