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Abuser pleads not guilty to Tame harassment charges

Nicolaas Ockert Bester, who abused former Australian of the Year Grace Tame when she was 15, has pleaded not guilty to accusations he menaced and harassed her online.

Bester, 70, is alleged to have made public posts on social media platform Twitter in relation to and directed at Ms Tame.

He appeared in Hobart Magistrates Court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to three counts of using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.

It is alleged the posts were made in April, July and August last year.

The matter was adjourned for contest mention on April 27 and his bail was continued.

Ms Tame was present in the courtroom with her partner Max Heerey and several other supporters.

Bester, who did not speak to media outside the court, was charged by police in October and first appeared in court in December.

Former teacher Bester was convicted in 2011 and sentenced to two years and 10 months jail for abusing Ms Tame when she was a student at his school, as well as for possessing child exploitation material.

Ms Tame was the 2021 Australian of the Year and has advocated for survivors of abuse.

She was instrumental in a campaign that resulted in 2020 law changes in her home state Tasmania which allowed survivors to share their stories publicly.