Accused stalker blames isolation for obsessive emails

A MAN accused of stalking his lover has tried to blame his obsessive behaviour on post-traumatic stress disorder after spending 22 months in a cell.

In emails John Howard Amundsen, 49, sent to the woman, he said 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 yesterday how Mr Amundsen, who has been living on the Coast, and the mother of two communicated via online chat and emails.

They gave each other nicknames, 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, which stemmed 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 where Mr Amundsen allegedly tried to disguise himself as a person named "David Craig", who said he 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 said police had traced the email to Mr Amundsen.