Bev Lacey

Family feud leads to stalking conviction

AN ONGOING family feud between a man and his uncle had its conclusion in a Toowoomba court with the younger man receiving a jail term for stalking.

Mitchell man Jamie Joseph Cooper and his uncle had been arguing for some time in the lead-up to Cooper first punching his uncle, then holding a knife to his throat on December 21, 2014.

The tension between them settled down and the pair had worked together picking grapes in the St George area, Toowoomba District Court heard.

However, they again fell out leading to Cooper sending his uncle abusive and threatening text messages, some of which received a reply until the uncle stopped communicating with him, prosecutor Charles Martin told the court.

In all, Cooper had sent his uncle 106 text messages over a two-week period in January, last year, constituting the charge of stalking, the court heard.

Cooper pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault and one of stalking.

His barrister Isaac Munsie told the court his client had endured a tumultuous relationship with his uncle arising from family issues.

His client accepted his offending but submitted the complainant man was no "shrinking violet" and the text messages had gone back and forth, he said.

Cooper had an eight-page criminal history which included previous offences of violence and he had spent time in prison, the court heard.

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren told Cooper he had looked close at the case facts and the sentencing options and found Cooper "on the borderline of serving actual custody".

However, Judge Horenman-Wren sentenced Cooper to 18 months in jail but ordered he be released on parole immediately.

Cooper consented to a restraining order prohibiting him from contact with his uncle.

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