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"Did I threaten to hurt you?" Yesterday, Delta Goodrem's stalker interrogated her in court.

"I honestly love you Delta, my soulmate forever."

"Please come down and meet me."

"I’m here."

These were just some of the hundreds of Instagram messages Delta Goodrem received from a stalker in February.

On Valentine's Day, James Joseph Lafferty showed up at Delta Goodrem’s Sydney apartment building with a handful of gifts.

When Goodrem headed downstairs to the concierge desk to collect a dress, Lafferty tried to get her attention by calling her name, leading Goodrem to head back upstairs to her apartment.

But after failing to get Goodrem's attention, Lafferty didn't stop there.

After continuing to message the singer, begging her to come down and meet him, the 47-year-old man attempted to leave Valentine's Day gifts at the concierge for Goodrem.

Once the concierge notified Goodrem about Lafferty wanting to leave gifts behind for her, Goodrem noticed that the man had been flooding her Instagram inbox with a series of bizarre messages.

"I haven't used heroin in years, and thanks to you having me kicked out of Castle Hill, that's when I started again," one message read, according to news.com.au.

"James loves you Delta!" another read.

After alerting police, Lafferty was arrested and told to leave the apartment complex.

A magistrate granted Lafferty bail, telling him to stay away from Goodrem's apartment block.

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"I'm just attracted to her, I've been writing poems to her for the last 18 months," Lafferty told the court.

"They're really good poems, I couldn't help if I was in love with her," he continued.

"I wanted to meet her, I know it's ridiculous, I know love does strange things, but I'll stay away if that's what she wants."

The next day, he showed up with gifts again, after sending her more than 300 poems and messages on Instagram.

According to news.com.au, Lafferty told police following his arrest: "I sent her 300 poems – you'd think she'd at least reply".

He then smashed his phone, before asking: "What am I guilty of? Bringing someone a rose and chocolates?"

On February 18, Lafferty faced court in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court. He pleaded guilty to three charges, including intimidation, using a carrier service to harass Goodrem, and failing to move on.

During the court appearance, deputy chief magistrate Jane Mottley noted that while Lafferty is one of Goodrem's "biggest fans", his behaviour had turned "to something... that has become creepy".

Mottley also noted Lafferty's long history of prior convictions, including other intimidation offences, assault, and break and enter.

According to court documents, Lafferty's appearance at Goodrem's apartment building made the singer feel "sick, distressed and anxious – this caused fear as the accused knows where she lives". 

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In court, Lafferty responded, adding that Goodrem's "address is in Google, anyway".

Defence lawyer Richard Ikaafu argued that father-of-three Laffery did not threaten Goodrem.

"We accept Your Honour that 300 is quite a number," the lawyer said.

"Mr Lafferty never got the impression he was an unwanted presence."

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In the end, the Grafton man, who was staying in Sydney for medical treatment, was sentenced to an 18-month community corrections order, barred from visiting Goodrem's apartment block, and fined $600.

"Ms Goodrem is a celebrity and a music performer... it's important that she has a fan base," the magistrate told the court.

"The important thing is that the fan base doesn't cross the line.

"This has gone from a sound professional relationship to something that is – and I will use the word – creepy."

This week, Lafferty has been accused of breaching an Apprehended Violence Order by continuing to contact Goodrem.

Due to a legal loophole, Lafferty, who is representing himself in court, was able to cross-examine the singer himself.

"Did I ever threaten to hurt you?" he asked Goodrem, according to 7News.

"There has definitely been two different sides from you, that’s been stressful for me."

On Monday, the court ruled that Lafferty was not aware of the AVO against him.

He has agreed to never contact the singer again.

— With AAP. 

Feature Image: Getty.

This post was originally published on February 19, 2020, and updated on November 17, 2020.

If you are experiencing stalking or harassment, contact your local police. Support is available via 1800 RESPECT. Please call 1800 737 732 to speak to a trained counsellor.


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