‘Too many coincidences:’ Alleged stalker keeps popping up
An alleged stalker who seemed to “mysteriously pop up” wherever his victim was has been deemed an unacceptable risk to be released on bail.
Justin Paul Bishop who was charged with unlawful stalking applied for bail in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Thursday. He is yet to enter a plea to the charges.
Police prosecutor Stu Lydford opposed the application, saying the alleged offences covered a range of “complete stalking behaviours”.
Sergeant Lydford alleged no bail conditions would stop Mr Bishop from committing further offences.
But Mr Bishop’s lawyer Benjamin Taylor argued some of the alleged incidents may not be stalking.
He said Mr Bishop had moved into a house 200m down the road from the alleged victim’s home in February 2019, two months before the pair split up.
He said the close vicinity meant his client would be going about his normal business when the aggrieved would see him drive past.
“So it is not necessarily the case for a number of these where she is merely seeing him driving past her on the highway that those would amount to stalking,” he said.
Mr Taylor told the court Mr Bishop’s bail address would be with his son and bail conditions could prohibit him from returning to his address and accessing social media.
The court heard a series of allegations including:
■ Mr Bishop had been at the Morayfield shopping centre the same time as the alleged victim;
■ He was outside a complex where he slowed down and smirked at the woman;
■ He was at Kings Beach where the woman was before reappearing in an aisle next to the woman at the Beerwah Woolworths later that day;
■ The woman had a friend over who parked his car outside her house on July 10 only to find Mr Bishop posting a picture of a similar car on social media, saying “I need to get one of these”; and
■ The woman received a rose in her mailbox on July 16 before finding Mr Bishop posting the song Bed of Roses on social media with an image of a single rose.
In his submission, Sgt Lydford said the man was stalking the victim.
“And she is quite rightly terrified so I don’t think anything will subdue Mr Bishop,” he said.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist refused the bail application, saying there were “simply too many coincidences”.
“Mr Bishop seems to know intimately the movements of the aggrieved, turning up at places that she’s at,” he said.
“I’ve got no confidence at all that any bail conditions would be adhered to by Mr Bishop.
“He’s simply an unacceptable risk of compromising the safety and welfare of the victim.”
The matter was adjourned to September 4 for committal mention.
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