Victim of alleged stalking driven to the brink of suicide
THE case of a Far Northern couple accused of sharing lewd images of a former deputy mayor has been heard by a fresh jury following the dismissal of a previous panel.
On Tuesday, Cairns District Court judge Leanne Clare told the jury they were discharged after one juror was not able to sit for the rest of the trial.
A new jury was sworn in on Wednesday.
Bingil Bay couple Steven Paul Toogood, 55, and Julianne Toogood, 59, have pleaded not guilty to one count each of unlawful stalking against former Cassowary Coast councillor Ricky Taylor.
They are accused of sending on many occasions private images of Mr Taylor during a 3½-week period between May and June 2017.
Council members, local MPs, an Innisfail journalist and a Mission Beach real estate agent allegedly received the emails.
In her opening statement, crown prosecutor Claudia Georgouras detailed an email and social media campaign against the Tully newsagent that caused him to quit his local government role, separate from his wife and contemplate suicide.
Ms Georgouras alleged Mr and Mrs Toogood had an ongoing dispute with the council prior to them sharing images and demanding Mr Taylor step down as deputy mayor.
"And it also caused him significant emotional (pain) to the point where he lost a significant amount of weight and was contemplating and researching methods of committing suicide," she said.
Following Mr Taylor's resignation, Ms Georgouras said, "they are aware at this point on the seventh of June the complaint is contemplating suicide" and Mr Taylor's wife "is making him move out".
Mr Taylor was expected to attend a council meeting the next day.
"Mr Toogood tells Mrs Toogood quote 'There is no way Rick Taylor will be anywhere in public tomorrow, guaranteed'," Ms Georgouras said.
The crown prosecutor told the jury the trial was not about the personal life of Mr Taylor but only about the conduct of the defendants. Fifteen witnesses are set to testify during the trial, which continues on Thursday.
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Originally published as Victim of alleged stalking driven to the brink of suicide