Keyboard ‘hero’ fronts court over vile threats
A “KEYBOARD hero” who violently threatened and harassed 15 people over four years, scaring them into changing the locks on their houses, has narrowly avoided jail.
Christopher Francis McCarty, 43, emailed and called former teachers and colleagues he had issues with, calling one a “narcissist n***er lover”, sending a photo of a flacid penis to another and “berating people about their views on vaccinations”.
McCarty faced Brisbane District Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to 13 charges of using a carriage service to menace, one charge of using a carriage service to threaten to kill and one charge of using a carriage service to threaten to cause serious harm.
The court was told the New Zealand national began messaging the victims, who also included former classmates, a blogger and someone who used to drive him to church, after he moved to Australia in 2011.
Prosecutor Noel Needham said he frightened them into changing their phone numbers, email addresses and some had changed the locks on their homes.
“They weren’t to know that he was contacting them from Queensland and realistically the physical threat against them was nothing more than the defendant being a hero on a keyboard,” Mr Needham said.
Mr Needham said in some cases, the victims had not heard from McCarty in more than 14 years when they found themselves the target of his “graphic abusive behaviour”.
He said when they went to police in New Zealand, McCarty goaded them and told them “so long as he was in Queensland, there was really nothing anyone could do about it”.
Mr Needham pushed for McCarty to serve actual time behind bars because of the scale of his offending and because of his history.
The court was told that in 2016, McCarty was put on a good behaviour bond for stalking a police officer for six weeks.
Defence barrister Daniel Caruana said for the past four years McCarty had been “able to behave himself” while on strict bail conditions.
“I accept that he’s come late to the party but he has sought help,” Mr Caruana said.
The court was told that McCarty had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and his actions were “very much a symptom of his condition”.
Judge Jennifer Rosengren said it was “simply vile” behaviour that would have been distressing for the victims and their families.
McCarty was sentenced to three years’ jail but released immediately on probation.
For the next two years he will not be able to contact any of the victims or leave Queensland.
Originally published as Keyboard ‘hero’ fronts court over vile threats