Man jailed for manslaughter after stalking his former partner

28/07/2017

A stalker whose campaign of threats and harassment caused his former partner to take her own life has today (28 July) been jailed for 10 years for her manslaughter.

In a highly unusual case, Nicholas Allen, 47, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charge at Stafford Crown Court, accepting that his onslaught of threats and abuse led to Justene Reece's death.

The court heard how Justene set up home with Allen in Stafford in 2015, but within months the relationship changed and he became increasingly obsessive and controlling. The following year, she left him to seek refuge in a women’s shelter at a secret location.

Allen then began tormenting his victim and her family, sending thousands of calls, texts and messages via Facebook and WhatsApp. He went to their homes, threatened Justene's son and posted offensive photographs of her mother's grave online. He also contacted employers, on one occasion falsely accusing a family member of serious sexual offences.

After six months of persistent abuse and numerous calls to the police, Justene took her own life. She left a note explaining that she could not endure her stalker’s behaviour any longer.

Today at Stafford Crown Court, Allen was jailed for 10 years and handed an extra five years on license. The court heard he had a history of similar offences, including convictions for harassment, assault and threats to kill.

Hannah Sidaway, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This was an exceptional case. Allen subjected Justene and those close to her to a sustained campaign of torment until she was unable to endure his behaviour any longer. There is no doubt he ultimately caused her to take her own life.

"This case illustrates the devastating effect that stalking can have on victims. It reaches into every aspect of their lives, causing acute distress and leaving them, and often their families, living in fear.

"Prosecutors receive special training in handling these cases and in this instance we sought to charge Allen with an offence which reflected the dreadful impact of his behaviour."

Ends

Notes 

  • Hannah Sidaway is a Senior Crown Prosecutor on the Complex Casework Unit for the Crown Prosecution Service West Midlands
  • Allen pleaded guilty to all the charges against him.  Counts and sentencing to be served concurrently were as follows:
  • Count 1: Controlling and Coercive Behaviour towards Justene Reece between 28th December 2015 and the 1st October 2016 – three years imprisonment
  • Count 2: Stalking Justene Reece between 1st September 2016 and 14th March 2017 – three years imprisonment
  • Count 3: The unlawful act manslaughter of Justene Reece on 22nd February 2017 – 10 years imprisonment
  • Counts 4-8: Stalking five other individuals between September 2016 and 14th March 2017 15 years imprisonment