HARASSMENT: Linda Collier pleaded guilty to unlawful stalking at Ipswich Magistrates Court.
HARASSMENT: Linda Collier pleaded guilty to unlawful stalking at Ipswich Magistrates Court. Ross Irby

Hacker housemate used emails, phones to harass flatmates

A MEDICAL professional who hacked into the computers and phones of two housemates had threatened to have one falsely charged with rape.

The "deplorable" stalking left both housemates suffering anxiety and depression, an Ipswich court was told.

Linda Collier, 48, from Springfield Lakes, pleaded guilty to unlawful stalking of both the man and woman - one charge was domestic violence related.

Collier also pleaded guilty to entering a dwelling at night with intent to steal.

The offences took place at Ipswich and Brassall between August and November 2016.

However, an apologetic Collier said in a report to the court her offending now made her feel sick.

Prosecutor Caitlin Thompson said Collier had already been dealt with by an Ipswich court when sentenced for stalking offences involving the same woman and for fraud involving the man's bankcard after she took a photo of it and then used its details.

Ms Thompson said the pair were living with Collier when she began stalking and harassing the man through emails, even threatening to accuse him of rape.

She hacked his email and phone accounts, and CCTV footage showed Collier rummaging inside his car.

She also made harassing phone calls and sent harassing emails to the woman, and hacked her accounts.

In a burglary in September 2016, Collier admitted breaking in and stealing the woman's driver's licence.

The victim also noticed that her phone had been reset.

Ms Thompson said victim impact statements revealed they suffered sleeping problems, stress and anxiety as a result of the offences, which had been disruptive to the woman's work.

"She stalked the two complainants. It was persistent conduct and some offences were done when on bail," the prosecutor said.

The Crown sought a head sentence of 12-18 months' jail.

Collier spent 40 days in custody on the previously finalised charges.

Defence lawyer Dylan Hans provided health reports and details of the counselling received by Collier.

He said she had not been in a relationship with the man but had shared a house.

Mr Hans conceded his client's behaviour was invasive, harassing and emotional.

In a report before the court, Collier stated: "I feel sick for everything I've done. Feels like a different person.

"I hate what I put them through, their suffering even though (she) did me wrongs. I wished I did it differently (sic)."

Mr Hans said Collier maintained she had been wronged by the woman but had deep remorse at her own conduct.

There were positive signs of real rehabilitation and he sought a term of probation.

Magistrate Robert Walker said Collier's behaviour towards the two people had been deplorable and warranted the court's condemnation.

He said her behaviour had been malicious, destructive and protracted.

Collier was convicted and sentenced to nine months' jail, immediately suspended for two years.

Mr Walker noted Collier was on medical leave and a likely consequence was she would lose her employment.



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