An obsessed fan who stalked star Delta Goodrem with bizarre Instagram messages and love poems before turning up at her apartment on Valentine’s Day has pleaded guilty.
James Joseph Lafferty, an unemployed man from the northern NSW town of Grafton, sent The Voice judge hundreds of poems and messages like “I honestly love you Delta, my soulmate forever” and turned up at her flat with Valentine’s Day gifts.
Lafferty pleaded guilty to four charges relating to stalking Goodrem after arriving with his mother at Sydney’s Downing Centre court today with his mother.
He pleaded guilty to one count each of stalking and intimidation, of tampering with evidence with intent to mislead, sending menacing messages, harassing or offending, and of refusing to comply with direction.
According to police, Lafferty arrived at Goodrem’s Sydney CBD unit on Valentine’s Day, The Daily Telegraph reported.
He sent her messages via Instagram saying, “James loves you Delta”, “Please come down and meet me” and “I’m at concierge”.
When he tried to leave Delta gifts, the building’s concierge turned him away.
The next day, when Goodrem came downstairs to collect a dress, Lafferty was there and yelled out “Delta, Delta”.
Goodrem hurriedly withdrew from the lobby and retreated back upstairs.
Police say the concierge went to Goodrem’s unit and told her about Lafferty trying to leave her Valentine’s presents before she checked her Instagram inbox and saw his messages.
The documents say this made Goodrem “feel sick, distressed and anxious — this caused fear as the accused knows where she lives”.
Police arrested Lafferty and took him to Day St police station in central Sydney.
Court documents say Lafferty told police, “I sent her 300 poems – you’d think she’d at least reply”, before smashing his phone.
Lafferty then added, “What am I guilty of? Bringing someone a rose and chocolates.”
Last weekend, a magistrate granted Lafferty bail but warned him to stay away from Goodrem.
“I would have thought if you’ve written 300 poems and you’re annoying her and she hasn’t responded to any of them you’re really wasting your time,” the magistrate said.
Lafferty said in court: “I’m just attracted to her, I’ve been writing poems to her for the last 18 months.
“They’re really good poems, I couldn’t help if I was in love with her.
“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 court was told Lafferty was staying with his mother in northwestern Sydney while he underwent medical treatment in Sydney but would return to Grafton.
“I was trying to be romantic your honour,” he said.
“I can’t wait until this is all over with so I can get back home to Grafton.”
Police say in court documents Lafferty used the Instagram handle lionheartlafo1 to send Goodrem a series of bizarre Instagram messages, including:
• “I haven’t used heroin in years, and thanks to you having me kicked out of Castle Hill, that’s when I started again”
• “Please come down and meet me”
• “I honestly love you Delta my soulmate forever”
• “I’m James”
• “James loves you Delta!”
• “I’m at concierge”
• “I’m here”.
The magistrate indicated to Lafferty’s lawyer today she would have to review his plea on the charge of tampering with evidence to mislead, which relates to him smashing his phone while being interviewed by police.
Lafferty is currently being sentenced.