Charity founder’s ‘calculated campaign’ to harass young man
A charity founder who graffitied damaging allegations about a man he was stalking across the Coast harassed his victim out of loyalty to a friend, a court has heard.
Daniel John Hultgren's 11-month campaign against a man who was dating his friend's ex-girlfriend started on February 20, 2019.
Judge Glen Cash told Maroochydore District Court the 52-year-old graffitied a number of locations around the region alleging his 24-year-old victim had committed sexual offences against children.
Judge Cash said Hultgren also attempted to get the victim evicted by sending slanderous emails to the person in charge of his accommodation, made a false claim to an insurance company that he had damaged his car and told police the victim's partner was in danger of hurting herself.
The court heard the former Nambour resident also made threatening phone calls that continued after he had been charged.
Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook said the offending was a "deliberate, calculated and persistent campaign" to attempt to embarrass and humiliate the victim.
He said Hultgren's conduct, motivated by loyalty to a friend, included malicious lies to authority figures that could have affected the victim's living and financial situation or had him falsely charged.
Mr Cook said the young man, who was not known to Hultgren, was intimidated and worried for his welfare.
"The conduct caused the … (victim) and his family members to be upset, angry and frustrated," Mr Cook said.
He suggested Hultgren be sentenced to prison with an immediate parole release date.
He said the prison sentence could be the 101 days already served by Hultgren.
The father of two pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of unlawful stalking and breaching bail.
Defence barrister James Feely said Hultgren didn't need the intensity of parole and suggested two to three years of probation.
He said the 101 days Hultgren had already spent in custody during the stage four COVID-19 lockdown was harsher than expected and had deterred him from reoffending.
"He hadn't been in custody before and has been of good behaviour since his release 10 months ago and that largely arises in part because of his fear of returning to custody," Mr Feely said.
He said the offending happened over a long period, but said it was not of great intensity and was "sporadic".
He said there were no actual threats of violence and no victim impact statement that evidenced more permanent impacts.
Mr Feely said Hultgren had a below average IQ, suffered from a personality disorder, was diagnosed with vascular disease and diabetes, had hearing difficulties and was scheduled to undergo surgery for nerve damage on his back.
He said the State Emergency Service and Lifeline volunteer had ran Australian Bunker and Military Museum, a counselling service for veterans for 32 years.
Judge Cash sentenced Hultgren to the 101 days in prison he had already served and placed him on a two-and-a-half-year probation order.
"The best way it seems to me to ensure that you do not commit any offence in the future is to make sure you are supervised for a relatively long period," he said.
Judge Cash said Hultgren had endured strict bail conditions that involved moving to Brisbane, a curfew and a GPS tracker.
Convictions were recorded.