Brittany Lauga: I'm a victim of Petros' fixation
KEPPEL MP Brittany Lauga's voice never wavered as she spoke through the tears in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday.
Being cross-examined as the victim of an alleged string of stalking incidents, Mrs Lauga told the court she felt "terrified" by the conduct of accused, Petros Khalesirad.
From February 20 to August 27, 2016, she claimed to be the victim of fixation by Khalesirad, who allegedly harassed and threatened her over a number of electronic devices.
She claimed Khalesirad, who she admitted to once having a "positive" relationship with, shared her address and mobile phone number online and slandered her name on Facebook.
Khalesirad has pleaded not guilty to one charge of unlawful stalking.
A heavily pregnant Mrs Lauga told the court Khalesirad's nature changed to an aggressive one when she questioned whether he had a criminal history as part of her scrutiny during preparation work for a youth summit.
"He posted pictures of my house showing my address on his public Facebook page," she told the court.
"I was terrified. It was scary to think someone can publish my address. It caused me great anxiety for a long time. And still does.
"He has created a narrative about me and it is the same one he has gone on and on and on with."
When asked by police prosecutor Clancy Fox about the extent of the stress it caused, her response was simple.
"Where do I begin? It was a horrible, horrible experience," she said pausing to take an offered tissue.
"It brought fear of what he would say next, fear that he was watching me, fear that I was under surveillance.
"There were dozens upon dozens of posts, daily. I feel like my phone is bugged or tapped."
Khalesirad's defence lawyer Greg McGuire argued in his cross examination that Mrs Lauga was "exaggerating" and that Khalesirad had good reason as a freelance journalist to question her.
Mr McGuire was referring to Mrs Lauga's dealings with construction company Hutchinson Builders, the same company her husband worked at for five years.
Hutchinson's Builders built the Lauga's home from which saw a dispute in the cost price quoted originally, the court heard.
It was supposed to be around the $600,000 mark, however it was grossly over by some $220,000 - a scenario that Khalesirad labelled a "dirty little secret" online.
Mrs Lauga claimed to have no knowledge of the 'oversight' up until March 19 - which prompted Mr McGuire to accuse her of lying. "You are lying ma'am, aren't you," he asked.
"You had absolutely no idea they had gone $220,000 over budget?
"My client was attempting to expose this matter, that's why you were terrified. You were trying to shut him up about him going on about Hutchinson's Builders."
Mr McGuire said Mrs Lauga's husband resigned from Hutchinson's Builders due to the debt.
The trial continues before Magistrate Cameron Press on December 14 after it was adjourned.