A Lake Macquarie man jailed for stalking his former partner, tracking her with a GPS and putting a listening device in her home will serve the remainder of his sentence behind bars after an appeal failed to reduce his cumulative jail term in Newcastle District Court on Thursday.
It means Daniel Ben Barnett, 48, will be released on parole next March - 12 months into a two-year prison sentence.
Barnett pleaded guilty in the local court earlier this year to four counts of breaking an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order, as well as charges related to stalking and spying on the woman.
Judge Roy Ellis reduced some of the "indicative sentences" for each individual charge Barnett received, but that made no change to the aggregate head sentence imposed on the 48-year-old.
The court heard that Barnett placed a GPS tracker on a car belonging to his former partner so he could "arrive at places where she was", and intimidate her with his presence.
He also placed a listening device in her bedroom, Judge Ellis said, which "undermines the victim's independence and her right to privacy".
"It's difficult to see the purpose [of the stalking] ... other than for his own gratification, of keeping track of where she is and listening to what she's saying," he said.
"It's somewhat bizarre ... more often than not that's a lot scarier than dealing with someone who's just threatening you."
The court heard that Barnett feared losing his home, where he lived with his 19-year-old son, given he no longer had any income to pay the mortgage while in jail.
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The Crown opposed the appeal, saying the crimes were "invasive and coercive behaviour which caused a great deal of fear".
Judge Ellis said there was "no doubt about his guilt" but "the law doesn't say he is going to be locked up forever".
But ultimately, he rejected defence solicitor Matthew Unwin's submission that Barnett should instead be handed an Intensive Correction Order - considered a term of custody served in the community - as well as be ordered to undertake community service.
"At the end of the day there are consequences for our conduct," Judge Ellis said.
Barnett has been in custody since he was charged in March.