Great Britain

Blackburn stalker left pregnant woman terrified for herself and unborn baby

THE victim of a stalker told how she had been left “terrified” he would find out where she lived and of what he might do.

Blackburn magistrates heard the woman’s fears were heightened because she was pregnant and she was worried for her unborn child.

In a victim impact statement she said the stalking had been going on for about four years. Initially when she started receiving messages she brushed it off but became more and more concerned as he ignored police warnings and a formal caution.

“I am petrified he will not stop until he finds my home address and I don’t know how far he will go if he does find me,” she said.

“I am 30 weeks pregnant and I have fears that if he finds me he will hurt my unborn child.”

Mark Hindle, 52, of Taylor Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to stalking. He was sentenced to 12 weeks in custody suspended for 12 months and made subject to a community order for 12 months with a mental health treatment requirement. He was also made subject to an indefinite restraining order and ordered to pay £85 costs.

Deputy District Judge Stuart Boyd said the defendant’s behaviour had been persistent over a number of years.

“You can’t say you didn’t know the contact was not wanted because not only were you spoken to by the police they gave you a formal caution when it would have been made very clear to you that this conduct must stop,” said Judge Boyd.

“It continued and I have considered very seriously sending you to prison today. The fact you are co-operating with the mental health services gives me some hope of rehabilitation.”

Ruby Mckeague, prosecuting, said there had been two police warnings and a formal caution in June 2019.

There was a gap after the caution but the messages started again in October and continued until the defendant was arrested in January.

“The unwanted contact has continued despite her telling him to stop, blocking him whenever she can and the involvement of the police,” said Miss Mckeague. “Even after the police caution the messages started again.”

Graeme Parkinson, defending, said his client clearly had problems.

“I have to accept on his part that having been cautioned by the police that should have been the end of it,” said Mr Parkinson.

“It is important to say the content of the messages was not sexual, threatening or abusive,” he added.

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