Great Britain

Brandon man sent up to 60 emails a day to stalking victim

A MAN who bombarded a woman with more than 1,000 unwanted emails containing pornography and images of himself was sending her up to 60 messages a day, a court has heard.

Durham Crown Court heard James Justice Hancock, from Brandon, near Durham, had sent 666 messages over a 10 week period, starting on November 1 last year, leaving his victim feeling anxious and isolated.

The 30-year-old pleaded guilty to stalking.

At a sentencing hearing yesterday, the court heard Hancock is a paranoid schizophrenic.

Judge Simon Kealey made him subject to a secure mental health hospital order, following the recommendation of two doctors.

The court heard Hancock had first met the woman about 12 years ago but they had never been properly acquainted and she had last seen him about 10 years ago.

In 2016 she had reported him to police for sending a series of unwanted text messages. He stopped, but in November 2018 he started sending emails using the Contact Us function of her company website.

He sent a total of more than 1,000 messages, which included pornography and images of himself and also made repeated calls to her work.

Rachael Landin, prosecuting, said his victim had been distressed by the emails, which had made her feel isolated, anxious and fearful of what he could do to her.

Ms Landin added: "She said she couldn't do anything, even make a cup of tea, without worrying the defendant was going to be there when she turned around."

Lewis Kerr, mitigating, said two psychiatric reports had been made about Hancock and asked for an order to be made for him to spend time at a secure mental health facility.

He said: "His actions were substantially influenced by his medical disorder."

Judge Kealey said: "The victim of your stalking was a lady who you had met many years ago and to whom you had never spoken and had last seen many years before.

"Over a period of about 10 weeks between November 2018 and March 2019 you sent 666 emails, sometimes up to 60 times a day.

"In total you sent over 1,000 emails, including links to pornographic material, items you own and pictures of yourself.

"As she sets outs, this has had a significant impact on her and has left her isolated, anxious and fearful every single day.

Hancock, of Redwood Flats, has 10 previous convictions for 14 offences, including battery, harassment and sending offensive messages.

The judge added: "I'm satisfied through reading the report that you are suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, making it appropriate for you to be dealt with in hospital for treatment."

A restraining order was also made so Hancock cannot contact his victim or come within 100 metres of her.

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