'Romantic fool' faces jail term
A HERVEY Bay businessman accused of tormenting the mother of his dead fiance to the point where she feared for her life spent his first night behind bars yesterday.
Anthony Richard Baker was convicted of three of six counts he had been on trial for including unlawful stalking, making a bomb hoax and wilful damage.
The 44-year-old was committed to stand trial in the Hervey Bay District Court after being charged with offences all stemming from a five-month period in 2007.
He and his victim, Elizabeth Bevan, had been embroiled in a bitter battle over who was entitled to keep the engagement ring he had given to her terminally ill daughter, Tara Bromley.
Yesterday Baker, who defended himself throughout the trial, made an impassioned plea to the jury before they retired to consider their verdict.
He said, if found guilty, he wanted the world to know that: “The last ship went down with guns blazing in defence of Tara’s flag."
He urged to the jurors to consider what they would have done in his position and said he was simply a “romantic, sentimental fool."
He also stressed that he believed the ring was rightfully his and that it was Ms Bevan who was in the wrong.
“These were my moments of greatest weakness,” he said
“My family Bible says: ‘Thou shalt not steal’.
“A superior man acts before he speaks.”
During his three-day trial the court heard Baker had delivered a series of threatening letters to Ms Bevan’s front door and had announced their arrival by yelling out “mail man”.
It was this behaviour that resulted in him being charged and convicted of unlawful stalking.
He was convicted of making a bomb hoax after being found guilty of delivering a box covered in photos of Bromley to Ms Bevan’s front door with what appeared to be wires attached.
He was convicted of wilful damage after being found guilty of damaging Ms Bevan’s property during one of his visits to the house.
Judge Donald McGill said he would give Baker until Thursday to decide whether or not he wanted to seek legal advice before he was sentenced.
He was remanded in custody until then.