Baby Reindeer: Law clerk Kobi Jane Langshaw guilty of years of stalking in chilling echo of Netflix show

Tim Clarke
The Nightly
4 Min Read
Kobi Jane Langshaw leaving the Perth Magistrates Court Halim Mellick
Kobi Jane Langshaw leaving the Perth Magistrates Court Halim Mellick Credit: Halim Mellick/The West Australian

In a chilling echo of the worldwide Netflix smash ‘Baby Reindeer’, an Australian woman with a background in the law has been convicted of the terrifying stalking campaign of a man she met by chance — and then relentlessly hounded for years.

Kobi Jane Langshaw, 37, appears online — and in person — as an ordinary, well-educated law clerk with a work history at some of the city’s most well-connected firms and connections with numerous top-flight lawyers.

But, a magistrate has this week found her guilty of three counts of aggravated stalking and a slew of restraining order breaches — following a trial which revealed the astonishing lengths Langshaw went to pursue two men.

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One of whom she was infatuated with and the other who she detested.

During a trial in Perth that covered years of behaviour and months of hearings, police prosecutors explained how Langshaw first met criminal and family lawyer Patrick Gardner in 2015.

Magistrate Belinda Coleman concluded that the relationship had been strictly professional, with any sexual connection being a “fiction of (Ms Langshaw’s) imagination”.

By 2016, Mr Gardner had taken a VRO out against Langshaw following disturbing and creepy behaviours, which continued despite the court order specifically telling her to stay away.

On one occasion, she rang the president of Mr Gardner’s football club, pretending to be an AFL official, to inform the club of an umpiring award he was to receive — which didn’t exist.

She then turned up to the club’s awards night and refused to leave.

During a trial that covered years of behaviour and months of hearings, police prosecutors explained how Langshaw first met criminal and family lawyer Patrick Gardner in 2015.
During a trial that covered years of behaviour and months of hearings, police prosecutors explained how Langshaw first met criminal and family lawyer Patrick Gardner in 2015. Credit: Bannerman Solicitors

In the same year, cameras caught Langshaw allowing her children to play with skipping ropes metres from Mr Gardner’s house.

The court heard she was also barred from attending the Family Court building in Perth because of other alarming outbursts.

Despite those convictions, Langshaw’s obsession with Mr Gardner escalated, while another man who worked in the Family Court was also targeted.

That led to nearly two dozen more allegations of breaches of VRO and three accusations of aggravated stalking — which on Tuesday Langshaw was convicted of.

“She is a highly intelligent woman,” Magistrate Coleman said. “And she is skilled at lying to take advantage of others. It is clear that she uses charm to manipulate others for personal gain.

“She holds a sense of superiority and is very opinionated. When challenged, she becomes hostile but can instantly switch back to being sweet and unassuming.

“It is clear that she was and still is completely infatuated with Mr Gardner … on the first occasion he gave evidence, she stopped taking notes and stared at him the entire time. He did her best to avoid her unrelenting gaze.

“She even took her hair out of her ponytail and fluffed it around her shoulders in an attempt to draw his attention — it was very unnerving.”

Despite those convictions, Langshaw’s obsession with Mr Gardner escalated, while another man who worked in the Family Court was also targeted.
Despite those convictions, Langshaw’s obsession with Mr Gardner escalated, while another man who worked in the Family Court was also targeted. Credit: Halim Mellick/The West Australian

In her findings, Magistrate Coleman concluded that despite orders restricting her from going within 200 metres of Mr Gardner’s home or office, she took jobs in buildings within sight of his — and even leased a CBD flat within that perimeter.

Throughout 2020, he, his colleagues, and the Family Court staff member sighted her numerous times walking within metres of them.

She claimed those encounters were while she was in the city for work or court appearances — but one lawyer told the trial she had been sacked weeks before an errand she claimed to be running.

Magistrate Coleman found that in the same year, Langshaw moved to a house in Caversham, knowing that both men she was banned from going near lived there.

Mr Gardner reported seeing her walking past every morning as he drove to work. He told police she had also ‘tailgated’ him in her car and repeatedly frequented a café or shop at the same time.

She was also sighted sitting on a BMX bike — before letting out a “hysterical laugh” when she realised she had been spotted.

“Ms Langshaw was terrifyingly aware of Mr Gardner’s routine and movements,” Magistrate Coleman said.

“There are no such things as chance meetings when it comes to Ms Langshaw — she has an uncanny ability to find out information and be in places at opportune times.”

Langshaw will be sentenced later this year, with police prosecutors urging her to be jailed.

The court was told she had spent hundreds of days behind bars already on the charges and for other convictions — which include a separate stalking conviction on another man she had met through work in Kalgoorlie.

In that case, she concocted a fantasy that she was in a relationship with the man’s wife, then harassed him with fictional sexual details for more than a month.

“What I am more worried about is an escalation of this behaviour,” Magistrate Coleman said as she ordered various psychological reports. Langshaw remains banned from going within 2km of both men.

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