The man who stalked Hobsons Bay councillor Tony Briffa received a five-year intervention order yesterday at Sunshine Magistrates’ Court.
The former Hobsons Bay mayor, touted as the world’s first intersex mayor, and LGBTI advocate welcomed the intervention order that expires at midnight on April 2, 2018.
“I am elated and relieved the Magistrates’ Court issued an Intervention Order to protect me from a person that has been harassing and stalking me for the last 18 months,” Briffa said.
Briffa was awarded an initial restraining order against the man back in January. The order makes it illegal to come within 200-metres of Briffa after the councillor received homophobic abuse and threatening calls. The man did not attend the court yesterday where the new order was issued.
The order also prevents any communication with Briffa, publishing anything online or getting someone else to do something against the councillor.
“The accused person contacted me and the council offices many times over the last 18 months and repeatedly abused and threatened me. He also repeatedly abused me on my official Facebook page and said things against me purely because he made assumptions about my sex, sexual orientation and gender identity,” Briffa said.
“His calls were so abusive I felt unsafe at council meetings and public events during my term as mayor, resulting in the council administration and I reviewing ways to improve my personal safety.
“In his calls the accused made many homophobic and transphobic comments and threatened to ‘get me’. No one should put up with that sort of inappropriate behaviour. There is no place for homophobia in society and the decision of court today shows people can do something about it.
“As a Community Champion for the Say ‘No’ To Homophobia campaign, I urge anyone experiencing harassment, bullying and other inappropriate behaviours based on their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity to speak out and seek support.”
Briffa thanked Victoria Police for their assistance in this matter, in particular their Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers who the councillor said were extremely supportive and brought this matter to the court.