A man who stalked and sent threatening messages to an AFL footy umpire has been arrested by Victorian detectives.
The 39-year-old man, who has not been named, appeared briefly in the Frankston Magistrate’s Court and was bailed to reappear again on 4 May next year. Frankston is an area of Melbourne.
He has been charged with one count of stalking and one count of using a carriage service to menace. If found guilty he could face up to 10 years in prison.
Menacing messages on weekend of Round 9
Although the statement by Victoria Police did not identify the sporting code, Seven News and Fox Sports have reported the victim is an AFL umpire.
Seven reported the AFL fan allegedly gained access to the umpire’s mobile number and then repeatedly called the number over the weekend of Round 9 (July 31 to August 1).
“Detectives from the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit have charged a man for allegedly making a series of harassing phone calls to a national sporting official,” the Victoria Police statement said.
Detectives raided man’s home on Thursday
“Police executed a search warrant at the man’s address in Frankston on Thursday after receiving reports he acquired the official’s mobile phone number and proceeded to repeatedly call and leave menacing voicemails.”
The statement added: “Victoria Police takes any threat against a person extremely seriously and will investigate incidents to the fullest extent.”
Causing harm via a device will have consequences
A spokesperson said anyone seeking to cause harm online, or via a telecommunications device, needs to remember there are serious consequences to their actions which can have devastating effects for victims.
“This behaviour is not on – it’s criminal and Victoria Police will hold people to account for their actions,” police said.