Accused stalker blamed behaviour on PTSD
A MAN accused of stalking his lover has tried to blame his obsessive behaviour on suffering post traumatic stress disorder after spending 22 months in a cell.
In emails John Howard Amundsen, 49, sent to the woman, he claimed he was not a monster and his behaviour was just a side effect of his condition.
The jury in a trial in Brisbane District Court heard on Tuesday how Mr Amundsen, who has been living on the Sunshine Coast, and the mother of two communicated via online chat and emails.
They gave each other nicknames, including "Queen Bear" and "King Bear" but in September, 2011, the woman went to police with concerns about the man's obsessive behaviour.
Detective Jack Maddock told the court the woman became "apprehensive" about the relationship in late August that year.
The woman received two long emails from Mr Amundsen about an hour apart on August 31, 2011.
She replied: "I am really worried by the way you are acting. You are now frightening me… You are obsessed with me and that freaks me out..."
She also said he demanded she return home while she was out with friends, and he thought her daughter was rude because she pushed past him without saying "excuse me".
In evidence presented to the court, Mr Amundsen said he was not obsessive but had post traumatic stress disorder, stemming from spending 22 months isolated in a cell and the failure of two previous relationships.
"I am not some monster," he wrote. He also promised he would try to be a better man, the court heard.
The woman also received another email from Mr Amundsen who allegedly tried to disguise himself as a person named "David Craig".
The email said the sender had known Mr Amundsen for years.
"...You can't expect someone who has been through five years of prosecution and two years in an unlit isolation cell to adapt back overnight. It's going to take him a little time and who are you when you haven't been through that horror to deny him the time to build a solid life with you," the email said.
"You can't put John back in jail that would destroy him on every level."
Det Maddock told the court police, with the help of authorities in the USA, traced the email back to Mr Amundsen.
He also said the accused man had registered three emails from three different IP addresses.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS:
What he said:
- "I see the love in your eyes. I see the deep emotional flow... Don't deny you don't love me. You took me to the hospital, followed me in your car to the hospital and then you held my hand all day only a loving wife could do that. You ensure I get to work on time."
- "Is what I have done over the last two months worth no credit in your heart?"
- "I need to be able to ring you; I just can't deal with the pain of separation..."
- "I have been diagnosed ... with PTSD of the non violent, non aggressive nature... PTSD causes automotive fear and a need for reassurance."
What she said:
- "No, I will not tell you that I love you. I made a mistake when I said it earlier today. That is freaked me out completely. It just came out because you said it first…."
- "I don't need to have someone in my life who is obsessed. You seem to have no understanding of what you are doing... You seem to be so focused on that you have me do what you say and want…"
- "Yes I said I would stay with the person I slept with… and I should have waited longer. Instead I let the hormones get the better of me, probably because I hadn't had sex in 12 years. I missed the touch and everything a man has to offer but what you are offering freaks me out."
- APN NEWSDESK