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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