Nottinghamshire stalker given indefinite hospital order


A Nottinghamshire man has been given an indefinite hospital order for stalking a local woman for over a year.

Simon Damps sent letters, cards and flowers to his victim, a mental health practitioner, eventually finding out her address and monitoring her journeys to and from work. He was eventually arrested near her home and was found to be wearing a condom and carrying knives, scalpels, scissors and tape, as well as a drill with a knife inserted in it. He had previously been convicted of harassing the same victim and given a hospital order, but was released in 2013. Three months after his release, he began to contact the victim again, with letters and then in December 2013 a Christmas card.

He was arrested for harassment and bailed and later voluntarily attended a police station to declare he had breached his bail conditions by contacting the victim. Despite this, he continued to stalk her until his arrest in February 2014. Because of the serious impact his offending was having on the victim, the charges against him were changed from harassment to the more serious offence of stalking. He initially denied his offences, but later pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court. Even after entering his plea, he came back to the court to try to plead not guilty by vacating his plea, but was eventually sentenced in February 2016. He was given a hospital order, with restrictions on his release, which means only the highest level panel can authorise his release. He was also given an indefinite restraining order preventing him from contacting the victim and from going within 100 yards of the clinic where she worked.

Charlotte Caulton-Scott, Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS East Midlands said: "Stalking is a very serious offence that leaves its victims in constant fear. This conviction and sentence will come as a great relief to the victim in this case. She had been tormented by Simon Damps' frightening behaviour, but will finally have some peace. His offending had a terrible impact on her, even causing her to move house. Simon Damps is extremely dangerous and will only be released if he no longer poses a danger."