A man has been accused of stalking multiple women he met online over several years.
Sean Ian Bruce Flintoff, 35, from Adelaide, Australia, was arrested and charged with 21 offences, including 16 counts of stalking against 16 different women.
According to the police, the offences occurred over an eight-year period, from 2013 to 2021, across various locations in Adelaide, News.com.au reports.
The main targets were women aged in their 30s, with Flintoff approaching them through dating apps or marketplace websites, where he would try to make contact.
The first report against the 35-year-old was made last month, when a woman told police that she had met Flintoff on Tinder and claimed to have “feared for her safety” because he allegedly began to stalk her.
A second woman then also came forward to the police, claiming she too was a victim of stalking, after meeting the accused on social media in January.
She reportedly told the police that he had “put her in fear of her safety”.
That’s when an extensive police investigation of Flintoff’s property led to the discovery of the other victims.
The 35-year-old appeared in court on Friday, where he did not apply for bail, and is due to reappear again in October.
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Australian criminal lawyer, Sonia Hickey, has outlined some ways people can stay safe while online dating.
She said: "Experts suggest setting up a few video chats before meeting face-to-face, and to always meet for the first time in a public place.
"Other warnings include being careful not to give out too much personal information until you know each other better and making sure a friend or family member knows the details of your date."
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