Bollywood myths help stalker escape conviction in Tasmania

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A stalker’s excuse that Bollywood films encouraged him to excessively approach women helped him avoid conviction in Tasmania, a media report said Thursday.

A judge in the Tasmania capital Hobart took into account “the cultural background” of 32-year-old Sandesh Baliga and let him go with a restraining order, ABC reported.

Balinga, who is in Tasmania to study accounting and works part-time as a security guard, claimed that Bollywood movies contributed to his belief that a woman would eventually fall in love with a man if he pursued her enough.
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The court heard that he texted, called and approached several women excessively, and had begun referring to himself as their boyfriend.

Judge Michael Hill noted that Baliga’s “cultural background” helped explain why he did not appreciate the seriousness of his actions, which could be classed as criminal.

His lawyer told the court that it was “quite normal behaviour” for Indian men to pursue women.

The judge adjourned the complaint without conviction.

He said the charges were serious but “after anxious consideration” he believed recording a conviction would affect Baliga’s job prospects.

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