Man convicted of stalking


A 45-year-old man has today been sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for a year, after he admitted to stalking his victim.

Like many stalkers, Michael Gaughan was rejected by his victim and began by contacting her through  text messages and telephone calls. This quickly escalated into abuse and he would often follow her when she tried to carry on with her day to day life.

It culminated in a confrontation when Gaughan threatened the victim at a restaurant where she was dining with her friends. He became abusive to her and staff had to intervene and asked him to leave the venue.

Thirty minutes later, he returned and the victim ran out of the restaurant in fear. He tried to follow but was prevented from doing so by the restaurant staff.

The police were called and the defendant was later arrested and interviewed. He admitted having a Stanley knife with him on one of the previous occasion and when his vehicle was found near to the restaurant and a large gardening implement was recovered.

He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to stalking and having an article with a blade or point.

Jason Corden-Bowen, District Crown Prosecutor and Domestic Abuse Lead with West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Stalking can lead to a permanent intrusion into a victim’s life as well as being a gross invasion of their privacy. It leaves the victim, their families and friends living in constant fear.

“Michael Gaughan began stalking his victim which escalated to him following her to a restaurant and threatening her in front of her friends and other diners.

“His behaviour caused  the victim to genuinely fear for her life. She described altering almost every part of her daily routine to avoid him and the impact of his behaviour was such that describing it in a statement to the police caused her distress.

“It is a testament to her strength of character that Gaughan has now been convicted and sentenced and we encourage anyone who is a victim of stalking or harassment to report the matter to the police and the criminal justice partners will support you throughout the prosecution process.”