The man who stalked Delta Goodrem, bombarding her with love poems and turning up at her apartment, has been described as "creepy" by a magistrate who listed his very lengthy criminal history including a stalking conviction.

But after pleading to three charges an unrepentant James Joseph Lafferty walked from court saying his love poems and Instagram messages were "better than a sleazy one-liner in a nightclub".

Downing Centre Local Court heard Lafferty is "one of the biggest fans" of The Voice judge and singing star.

But despite being told by Magistrate Jane Mottley that his fan adoration had turned "to something … that has become creepy", Lafferty said that Goodrem's "address is in Google anyway".

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Ms Mottley said the singer was "entitled to feel safe and secure" at that address and that Lafferty's Valentine's Day gift to her "was not something that was welcomed by Ms Goodrem".

She noted that Lafferty had previous convictions dating from 1991 for assault, break enter and steal, drug possession, damage property, goods in custody, trespass, drink driving, intimidation and, in January last year, assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Delta Goodrem performs at Sunday's Fire Fight Australia concert. Photo / News Corp Australia
Delta Goodrem performs at Sunday's Fire Fight Australia concert. Photo / News Corp Australia

Lafferty pleaded guilty to stalking and intimidating Goodrem, using a carriage service to harass, menace and offend her and refusing to comply with a police direction.

Lafferty had twice gone to Goodrem's Sydney CBD apartment, on Valentine's Day, and again the next day, after sending her 300 self-penned love poems and messages telling her "I'm at concierge", saying they were "soulmates", he loved her, and begging her to come downstairs.

When police arrested him and ordered him not to return to Goodrem's apartment building, he went back there.


Magistrate Mottley accepted Lafferty suffered from depression and was a serious Goodrem fan.

"There was no threat to serious harm or to cause her injury," Ms Mottley said and recorded convictions for all three charges, placing him on an 18 month community corrections order and fining him $600.

A fourth charge relating to his smashing his phone on which the Instagram messages had been sent to Goodrem was withdrawn.

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Lafferty, a disability pensioner, told reporters after his sentencing, "what's wrong with 300 love poems?", before saying it was better than a "sleazy" line in a nightclub.

Counsel for Lafferty, who appeared in Downing Centre Local Court alongside his elderly mother, told the court that the offender had taken a message Goodrem had placed on Instagram personally and had become "emotional".

South Grafton man James Joseph Lafferty, 47, has pleaded guilty to stalking Delta Goodrem. Photo / News Corp Australia
South Grafton man James Joseph Lafferty, 47, has pleaded guilty to stalking Delta Goodrem. Photo / News Corp Australia

Court documents state Lafferty's attempts to leave gifts and appearing at her building 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".