‘Ridiculous’ reason Coast mum harassed DV charity founder
A Gold Coast mum bombarded a domestic violence organisation with calls and messages falsely accusing them of holding women against their will and treating them like slaves.
Elizabeth Fellows, who told Southport Magistrates Court she had suffered domestic violence in the past, made the allegations and incessantly contacted The Sanctuary Women, Children and Pets Refuge between July 2-5 this year.
Founder and chief executive of the refuge Simone Patterson was on the other end of the calls and messages and said it was "horrendous" and "traumatising".
"It's made me fear for my safety and that of my clients, my children. It's been really horrible. We're all trying to do something good for the community and it's disappointing when someone treats you like this," she told the Bulletin.
The court heard Fellows messaged the Facebook page on July 2 asking for someone to call urgently and soon after sent 30 messages.
The court heard Fellows accused the organisation of "holding women as prisoners and treating them as slaves" and threatened to take the story to commercial news program A Current Affair.
Ms Patterson spoke with Fellows and told her to put her inquires in writing. She asked her to stop contacting her after she received another 25 calls.
Fellows contacted Ms Patterson on 74 occasions between 7.20pm and 9.55pm on July 4.
She went to the police and was forced to turn her phone off.
Ms Patterson told the Bulletin she was horrified someone accused her of doing everything she has spent her life savings to keep people from.
"I was absolutely gutted when I read it, and when she wouldn't stop harassing me ... on the second of July I couldn't believe what I was hearing and what I started reading. I thought I don't know what to do at this point."
Officers tracked the number to Fellows who told them she had received information and acted "spontaneously" when drinking.
Fellows pleaded guilty on Monday to using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.
She described her actions as "impulsive, immature and reckless".
"It's ludicrous, I know," she said, adding she had since found out the allegations were not true.
She said she had been "triggered" after being manipulated by a stranger.
Magistrate Pamela Dowse labelled the actions as "ridiculous".
Fellows was sentenced to a 12-month, $1000 good behaviour bond and must not contact Ms Patterson.
The Sanctuary Women, Children and Pet's Refuge, based at Palm Beach, offers those fleeing domestic violence situations a place to stay alongside their animals, instead of using emergency fosters.
Originally published as 'Ridiculous' reason Coast mum harassed DV charity founder