25 November 2023

'I want to watch you burn': Hunting knife-wielding stalker handed years in jail

| Albert McKnight
Court building

Brad Jewell has been handed a jail sentence by the ACT Supreme Court. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Over just one month, a man’s relentless stalking campaign saw him make 138 phone calls to a woman, send her 950 text messages and visit her home 10 times.

Brad Jewell, 43, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years’ jail with a non-parole period of three years and nine months by the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday (23 November).

He began his campaign of harassment in early March 2023 when he called his victim 10 times over the phone and sent her 323 texts in one day, including threats to enter her home.

“You are done I want to watch you burn now,” he texted. Closed-circuit television footage (CCTV) captured him at her home three times that day.

He made a further 40 calls and 175 texts to her over the next couple of days, including lines such as, “Unlock the f—ing door because I’m coming in” and, “You are now my enemy also”.

Jewell was carrying a large hunting knife when he went to her home at midnight and demanded to be let in. She did so, fearing he would break her door, but he then grabbed her, pointed the knife at her and said he was going to kill her.

“She was terrified and prepared herself to die,” Justice Verity McWilliam said in her sentencing remarks.

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He eventually stopped and left, leaving the knife behind. But the following day, he continued to send her aggressive messages, such as, “I’m coming for you”.

“You left the laundry sliding door open, I’ll close it for you,” he messaged her that night.

The victim told him not to come back to her home, but then later saw him at her place via her CCTV so she hid in the roof.

The next day, he sent her 228 texts, all of which said the same thing: “You better have me killed.”

Jewell visited her home and kept messaging her over the following days. When she answered a call from him, he threatened to kill her.

“I’ll be back tomorrow,” he texted her. He continued to call and message her as well as visit her home until the end of the month, when he was arrested.

Justice McWilliam said the victim thought she was going to die when he pointed the hunting knife at her. His threat to kill her was “capable of immediate realisation”, she said.

When it came to his messages, she said there were direct threats that were clearly intended to cause the victim to fear she would be harmed.

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She said Jewell, who ran his own business in the scrap-metal industry, experienced childhood violence and had poor emotional regulation, impulse control and decision-making abilities, which had contributed to his offending.

There was some connection between his diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and his offending, she said.

“The offender accepted full responsibility for his actions and felt he deserved the time he had spent in custody thus far,” Justice McWilliam said.

Jewell pleaded guilty to charges that included stalking and making a threat to kill. He also had suspended sentences imposed for other matters when he was sentenced on Thursday.

He will be eligible to be released from custody in December 2026.

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