What is Intimidation in NSW?

 

51-year-old Stuart MacGill has been accused of intimidating a bar owner in Sydney, calling her a “C*&t”.

The cricket great, who appeared at the Downing Centre Court House on Thursday 14 July for day one of a defended hearing to face the allegations, has claimed that he was approached by the alleged victim only so that she can intimidate him. The court heard that he told police in an interview that she has been stalking him for over a year.

Stuart and his friend Stephen Kerlin are accused of approaching Samantha Ford in Sydney on the 1 February outside the Lord Nelson pub.

It is alleged that the two men approached her at about 6pm where she was called a “C*&t”, was told to “stick it up your a**”.

A witnesse has said that the men were being “very loud” and heard one of the men say “f**k you b***h to Ms. Ford.

The court was told that Stuart and his Stephen went into the Captain Cook Hotel in Millers Point before Ms. Ford followed and also entered the bar with a dog. The court was told that inside a further confrontation occurred where CCTV footage shows the men approach her.

A bar staff has said that Stuart was shouting at her with aggressive mannerisms, leaned over to her and shouted at her, consequentially causing a scene.

At one point, the CCTV footage shows Stuart approaching her, jabs his finger towards her face before retreating. After the pub staff intervene, the camera footage shows Ms. Ford leaving the venue.

Stuart has said, that “there was only one reason she approached us and that was to intimidate us.”

He also said, “I felt intimidated and acted accordingly… despite being told to go away, Samantha Ford refuses to go away, refuses to leave people alone, she will follow them incessantly and intimidate without regard for anybody’s feelings.”

The hearing was unable to reach a conclusion due to the busy court list and will resume on 30 January 2023 at the Downing Centre Local Court. The apprehended violence order in place continues on an interim basis to the same date.

What is Intimidation in NSW?

What’s the meaning of “intimidation”? The law says that ‘intimidation’ is behaviour that amounts to harassment, molestation, approaching a person that causes fear of safety, or any other behaviour that causes a reasonable apprehension of violence or injury to someone. This includes damage to a person’s property, or harm to an animal that belongs or belonged to a person.

When the courts determines whether an alleged act is considered at law ‘intimidation’ the court can consider whether there’s been any past pattern of violence by the accused.

Cyber bullying via social media, email or text messages can also amount to intimidation at law.

Section 7 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) reflects the law on what amounts to intimidation in New South Wales.

The case of Kelly v R in 2007 was a case involving the actions of a public officer against a person. The case said that the concept of official action being taken by a public officer against a person, even if it involves rude, aggressive or upsetting language or alleged overzealous actions does not amount to ‘intimidation’ under the law.

In facts, rude, offensive and boorish behaviour doesn’t necessarily amount to conduct constituting fear of physical violence.

In New South Wales, anyone who stalks or intimidates with the intention of causing fear of physical or mental harm knowing the conduct is likely to cause fear will be guilty attracting up to 5-years imprisonment and/or $5,500 fine, prescribed by section 13.

About Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Leading Criminal Lawyers in Sydney, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Criminal Courts.

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