IN AN eight-page letter that read like a Mills and Boon novel with a hint of religious doctrine Anthony Richard Baker did his best to convince the Hervey Bay District Court that he was “not a bad man” yesterday.
Unfortunately for him it didn't sway the judge and the 44-year-old Hervey Bay businessman was given two years in jail after a jury found him guilty of stalking the mother of his deceased fiancee.
During a three-day trial the court heard how Baker terrorised Elizabeth Bevan over a five-month period following the death of her terminally ill daughter Tara Bromley. Baker was accused of sending Ms Bevan a string of letters, phone messages and packages including a pink urn covered in photos which was later found to contain blood and bone.
He claimed his motive was to retrieve the ring he had given to Tara when they became engaged but the court heard that Ms Bevan had simply acted in accordance with her daughter's will and passed the ring on to a family member.
On Monday Judge Douglas McGill remanded Baker in custody until yesterday to give him the opporunity to seek legal advice before a sentence was handed down but yesterday he chose to represent himself.
In dramatic tones Mr Baker pleaded with Mr McGill to “have mercy”.
In the long-winded letter which included his life history, Baker described his relationship with Tara.
He said that following the breakdown of his relationship with the mother of his son he had “sealed his heart shut” but that Tara had caused it to “explode” and he “showered her with his love”.
Baker claimed he had lost $5million dollars during the 2007/2008 financial year and that the stress of that coupled with the loss of Tara had left him at his “most vulnerable”.
But Judge McGill said he believed Baker had little prospect of rehabilitation and described his attitude towards Ms Bevan as “extremely hostile”.
“You still believe she has wronged you,” Judge McGill told Baker.
“You have shown no remorse.”
Baker recieved two years jail for stalking, three months for wilful damage and 18 months for making a bomb hoax which will all be served concurrently.
A 10-year restraining order was also put in place to prevent Baker from having any contact with Ms Bevan.
He will be eligible for parole in August next year.
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