By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A Doveton man is fighting charges of stalking a neighbour, lighting a fire that threatened houses and barricading himself inside his booby-trapped abode.
Alexander Kraskov, 44, appeared on video link during a failed bail application at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 12 February.
He denies an alleged “course of conduct” that included weeks of racially abusing and throwing stones and glass bottles at the female neighbour and her house in Golden Court.
The terrified neighbour had moved out and put her house on the market as a result, informant Acting Sergeant Greg Pajor told the court.
On 23 September, the neighbour was allegedly awoken at night by the smashing of her bedroom window.
She reportedly saw Kraskov outside, throwing things at her house while taunting and laughing at her.
After she called police, a large fire was allegedly started outside and spread towards her house.
Another neighbour frantically tried to extinguish the blaze while Kraskov allegedly rode a bicycle up and down the street and yelled racial taunts.
Emergency services extinguished the blaze as Kraskov barricaded himself inside his house, the court heard.
Police, believing there were man-traps protecting the front yard as well as the home’s windows, negotiated with Kraskov but did not risk arresting him.
They left the scene, arresting him as he walked down Rowan Street more than two weeks later.
On his stroll, Kraskov was carrying a marine flare, a metal pole and a large amount of syringes, the court heard.
Inside his house was a form of “man trap”, Sgt Pajor said.
It consisted of an unloaded gun on the floor, which was connected via nylon string to behind the front door.
Bottles of suspected fuel were allegedly found throughout the “filthy” and “cluttered” house.
After the house was given the all-clear by the police bomb unit, detectives seized a crossbow, a martial-arts sword and spear gun from the hallway, the court was told.
Kraskov had drug issues and an “extensive” criminal history including armed robbery, deceptions, handling stolen goods, weapons, drugs, serious assaults and escaping prison, the court heard.
He’d also failed to answer bail and breached suspended sentences, Sgt Pajor said.
“He is an incredible risk to neighbours and the broader public.”
Kraskov applied to be bailed to a close relative’s home in Drouin.
That relative had been victim of an assault and threats from Kraskov and had taken an intervention order against him in March 2017, the court heard.
Magistrate Jack Vandersteen questioned why police took more than two weeks to arrest Kraskov despite his alleged risk to the community.
“There was an unacceptable risk of offending yet they left the premises.”
He noted a personal safety intervention order on behalf of the neighbour wasn’t served until Kraskov’s arrest.
Kraskov’s lawyer argued there were no further issues with the neighbour in the fortnight up to his arrest.
He had significant mental health issues, including persistent paranoid delusions, the court heard.
He believed he had been under surveillance for seven years – including by technology that detected him through the walls of his house.
He was being monitored by passing helicopters and neighbours. People wanted him dead because he was a drug dealer, he claimed.
If bailed, he’d be supported by CISP – treatment that was inadequate for Kraskov’s needs, Mr Vandersteen ruled.
Kraskov had no insight in his illness. Given that and the seriousness of the allegations and prior criminal history, his risk of re-offending was unacceptable, the judge said.
Kraskov was remanded to appear at a contested hearing at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 14 March.