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Footy star menaced by stalker
A STALKER who hounded star footballer Ian Roberts by sending him sexually  explicit letters and threats has been given three years' probation.
David Innes Braybrooke, 26, from Malanda on the Atherton Tableland in north  Queensland, sent the former international league player up to 10 letters a day. Braybrooke also posted Roberts a naked photo of himself.
Excerpts from the letters were read out in Cairns District Court on Friday. "I often lie awake at night and think of you (having sex) with me and I think it would be wonderful," Braybrooke wrote.
But when Roberts refused to respond, returning the letters unopened, the  obsessed fan turned nasty.
"Your time is up," he wrote. "You might want to watch your back. I hate you." The letters started arriving with messages on the outside, including "I'm going to get you Roberts", with a picture of a telescopic rifle sight next to it and the words "bang bang bang".
Crown prosecutor Michael Hibble told the court Braybrooke, a paranoid schizophrenic, first wrote to Roberts in 1996.
Roberts replied with the standard letter he uses to respond to fan mail but more  letters started to arrive.
By mid-1997 Roberts had had enough. The volume of letters and their sexual explicitness prompted him to alert police.
No formal complaint was made but police had a "friendly chat" with Braybrooke.
The letters stopped briefly then started again, becoming even more explicit.
In April last year Roberts made a formal complaint.
"It was a classic case of unrequited love," Mr Hibble told the court.
Judge Peter White said the avalanche of letters was the product of a troubled mind and Roberts had no way of knowing whether the threats could become physical.

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Sparkes fly in Roberts-Jack feud
BY DANNY WEIDLER
DESPITE being settled out of court during the week, the eight-year-old feud between Ian Roberts and Garry Jack has again reached boiling point.
Roberts was forced to pay Jack a large sum, more than  A$50,000 according to sources, for an on-field incident in which Roberts hammered Jack with a series of fierce blows during a Manly-Balmain clash in 1991.Jack claimed the court result proved he is not homophobic and also that the case was "not about money".
But current players contacted by 'The Sun-Herald' were almost unanimous in their support of Roberts, believing the incident should have been left on the playing field.
Parramatta co-captain Dean pay summed up the feeling when he said "Rugby league has had enough time in the courts in recent years." Roberts was fuming after 'The Sun-Herald' told him Jack wanted to shake his hand after the court case but was ignored.
Jack said "Roberts shot out the door before I got a chance to shake his hand. If I saw him in the street tomorrow I'd have no bad feelings towards him. "This court case was never about a grudge or about money.
"I wanted it to be shown that I didn't start the fight, that I never sledged Roberts or bagged him about his homosexuality and that Roberts' actions were totally unacceptable."
Roberts couldn't believe that Jack had said he dodged his handshake. "What a load of crap," Roberts raged.
"That sort of talk makes me sick to the stomach. That is pure bullshit.
"As far as I'm concerned anything I had to pay him was too much.
"If he wanted to end things on a friendly note why have we had this whole case going on for the past eight years? It's unreal."
Meanwhile, Roberts's friend, flamboyant NBL basketballer Simon Kerle, has written a stinging letter to media outlets slamming Jack.
"Ian is one of the greatest people I've ever met," said Kerle.
"If anything he is too nice a person and people have taken advantage of that. "Jack's action is ridiculous. What's going to happen next?
Is a boxer going to sue another boxer for knocking him out?"

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