A man has been convicted after he breached a protection order in a “chilling” confrontation with seven-time world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore.
Squires Winter – who has three previous convictions for actual bodily harm and two for assault – was convicted and fined $1,000 AUD (US$700) for breaching the personal violence order Gilmore took out in May.
The 66-year-old was forbidden from contacting or seeking out the surfer, as well as coming within 500 meters of her home or place of work.
However, he approached Gilmore in the carpark at the Tweed Coast Pro in September whilst she was unloading her surfboard.
“Hi, how are you going? … We are going to catch up later, aren’t we?” he is alleged to have asked her, to which the 32-year-old replied: “No, no we won’t. Bye.”
Gilmore reported the incident to the police, who arrested Winter and said she was “visibly shaken and upset.”
Winter is alleged to have told the police that he is a former surf coach of Gilmore’s and that he did not seek her out, but rather he stopped at Cabarita Beach to use the bathroom whilst driving to Brisbane to visit his daughter.
However, the court was informed that Gilmore does not know Winter, while police prosecutor Sergeant Chris Martin said his account “did not make any sense” because coronavirus restrictions prevented him from crossing the state border between New South Wales and Queensland.
Gilmore is said to have taken out the apprehended violence order against Winter after several “frightening incidents” in which he attempted to get to her through friends.
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy said that examining all the facts surrounding September’s confrontation made it “more chilling with a menacing undertone.”
Gilmore began competing in the World Surf League back in 2005, and she won four consecutive world titles between 2007 and 2010.
She has become world champion on three further occasions, in 2012, 2014 and 2018, while last year she finished fourth in the Championship Tour standings.