Neiwand pleads guilty to stalking

Former world keirin and sprint champion Gary Neiwand yesterday pleaded guilty in the Melbourne...

Former world keirin and sprint champion Gary Neiwand yesterday pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court to stalking a former girlfriend, her boss and her mother, it was reported by AAP.

39-year-old Neiwand pleaded guilty to five charges of stalking, two of theft, two of using a carriage service in a harassing manner and one of breaching an intervention order.

The Olympic silver medallist started making numerous hang-up calls to his former girlfriend's home and mobile phone early this year after she broke up with him, the court was told. The police prosecutor, acting Sergeant Jo Leechman, said the woman ended the brief relationship after a jealous Neiwand wrongly accused her of seeing other men.

After the woman changed her phone numbers, he started making hang-up phone calls to her mother and sent sexually explicit text messages about the woman to her boss. He got the phone numbers from the woman's phone bill, which he had stolen, Sgt Leechman said. He also sent abusive text messages to a former work colleague and two other people on a stolen mobile phone between May and July, the court was told.

Neiwand's lawyer, Martin Grinberg, described his client's actions as "absurd" and said Neiwand's two young children was ashamed of his behaviour. He said Neiwand had received "terrific" family support after he confessed to them he needed help and had thought about suicide.

Mr Grinberg asked the magistrate to consider a sentence that included psychiatric treatment. "Clearly it's what this fellow needs," Mr Grinberg said. Chief Magistrate Ian Gray will sentence Neiwand tomorrow morning.

In February, Neiwand was jailed for four months after breaching an intervention order requiring him to keep away from his ex-wife. He breached the order by driving past her house.

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