by Emma Clarke
A 62-year-old Laidley woman who stalked an ex-colleague for six months was having "erotomanic delusions".
The disorder meant Carolyn Elizabeth Smith believed the male victim was in love with her.
Smith sent the man hundreds of "persistent, threatening and grossly offensive" messages and called him hundreds of times over a six-month period beginning in 2012, leaving him hundreds of hours of voice messages.
The man eventually resorted to answering the call and leaving the phone unattended.
In sentencing in Ipswich District Court yesterday, mental health reports revealed Smith had erotomanic delusions and she was only vaguely aware of reality during the period of offending.
The court heard Smith and the victim had "never been in a romantic relationship, notwithstanding the communication strongly suggested there had been".
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren said there was a "very significant absence of a relationship".
It happened weeks after she was convicted of similar stalking offences against the same victim.
Some of the offending was in breach of bail conditions which prohibited Smith from contacting the man.
Crown prosecutor Caitlin Thompson said Smith had a concerning history of similar stalking offending.
She said on one previous occasion, Smith went into the man's yard and stole a garden ornament. In separate instances, she called him 81 times in two hours, 54 times in an hour and 137 times in four hours.
The court heard she told him, "I hate you, I hate the guts out of you," and she also spoke of bad karma and other explicit content.
Smith served close to nine months pre-sentence custody for the offending from March to December 2013.
Judge Horneman-Wren said there was "no utility at all" in returning Smith to jail yesterday.
She pleaded guilty to two counts of stalking with threatening violence, five counts of using a carriage service, namely a phone to menace, harass or cause offence and three counts of breach of bail condition, namely to not have contact with the victim.
She was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended after the pre-sentence custody period for 18 months and two years probation. Smith was also ordered to serve a six month good behaviour bond with $500 recognisance.