A man convicted of stalking Sophie Monk by sending violent and sexual social media messages, has been ordered by a court not to leave Tasmania or make contact with the celebrity.
James Scott McCabe, 32, on Wednesday received an eight-month suspended jail sentence for sending countless Twitter messages to Ms Monk between 2010 and 2013, some of which described the pair having sex.
Magistrate Sharon Cure noted that McCabe’s obsession with Ms Monk began when he was aged 15 – and she appeared on the TV show Popstars – and grew to a concerning level.
“He contacted her persistently and sometimes obsessively … sending messages that were offensive and sexually suggestive,” she said.
McCabe’s “ramblings” included references to Satan and bestiality and at times he requested sex with her and described that scenario, the magistrate said.
“The number of tweets was staggering.”
After trying to block McCabe’s profiles and sending some “sympathetic” responses, Ms Monk reported the matter to police when the messages started to threaten members of her family.
Ms Cure noted McCabe’s mental health status, including a clinical diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, and his history of abusing illicit drugs, including ice.
“The defendant was incapable of controlling the behaviour he did while affected by the substance,” the magistrate said.
McCabe’s condition meant he is not fit to serve jail time, Ms Cure said.
“Mental illness reduces his moral culpability.”
However Ms Cure said the offence of stalking, to which McCabe pleaded guilty, is a serious offence and the effect on Ms Monk was considerable.
Along with the eight-month suspended prison sentence, the court also imposed an indefinite restraint order to prevent further contact with Ms Monk.
McCabe must not go within 200 metres of her.
Furthermore, he was ordered to serve a probation order, requiring that he undergo psychiatric treatment and assessment, submit for drug testing, and not leave Tasmania.
Ms Cure said the case raises a concerning issue for people with a public profile who use online profiles.
“There is a significant danger that celebrities are exposed to when communicating with fans on social media,” she said.
“In this case the impact on (Ms Monk) was considerable.