North East's Chief Crown Prosecutor encourages victims to report stalking and harassment offences
The Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) for the North East Crown Prosecution Service has today encouraged victims of Stalking and Harassment offences to come forward, as part of National Stalking Awareness Week (April 20-24).
CCP Jan Lamping highlighted some recent successes in the prosecution of stalking and harassment offences, which also demonstrate the significant impact that these crimes can have on victims.
Jan said: “Stalking and harassment can take many forms, but the common denominator in all such cases is an unhealthy fixation on an individual by the perpetrators.
“Such cases are among the most complex offences that we have to deal with, frequently involving victims who have faced harrowing experiences at the hands of particularly manipulative offenders.
“In recent years, there has been significant training for our prosecutors to further improve our response to these types of cases, and the sentences passed after a successful conviction can be significant. I would encourage anyone who has been subject to this type of behaviour to speak with police.”
Some of the stalking and harassment cases prosecuted in recent months include the following:
- In one recent case, the defendant was convicted of stalking involving serious alarm or distress after he repeatedly sent e-mails to the victim, followed her to the address of her new partner, threatened to post intimate photographs and fitted a tracking device to the victim’s car. He was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment and made the subject of a five-year restraining order at Newcastle Crown Court.
- In another case, the defendant was convicted of stalking involving serious alarm or distress after he subjected the victim to cyber-stalking by appropriating hundreds of images of the victim from legitimate social media accounts. He then sexualised the images and reposted them on cloned social media sites purporting to be the victim. He was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment and made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and a lifetime restraining order.
- Another defendant was convicted of stalking after he bombarded the victim with hundreds of text messages, telephone calls, attended her home address, followed the victim, approached her in social contexts, sent her unsolicited gifts and caused harassment to the victim's new partner. He was sentenced to 20 weeks' imprisonment suspended for 18 months and made the subject of a five-year Restraining Order. He was also ordered to pay compensation to the victim of £300.
- The Defendant was convicted of stalking after he sent numerous unsolicited communications to the victim, many of which were abusive, attended her address and followed her over a period of six weeks. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order with rehabilitation activities and made the subject of a 12-month restraining order.
- The Defendant was convicted of stalking after he made unwanted phone calls to the victim, made unwanted visits to her place of work on several occasions, and threatened to publish sensitive and personal details of her and her family. He was sentenced to 10 weeks' imprisonment and made the subject of a restraining order for 24 months.