Man from St Helens jailed for stalking woman over three year period
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A man from St Helens who stalked his former work colleague has been jailed.
David Hughes, of Harris Street, Dentons Green, would watch the 38-year-old while at work, monitor her on social media and messaging platforms and contact her friends and colleagues.
The 41-year-old also hacked into the woman’s online shopping accounts as well as her social media and email.
The stalking began in February 2018 and continued up until July 2021 when the woman refused to pursue a relationship with him.
He would then wait around the office for her and engineer situations that would lead to them seeing or meeting each other.
Hughes then took to social media where he would watch to see if she came online. He was told by the woman to stop however continued and she ended her employment at the company.
This led to Hughes adding himself as an account administrator through pseudonym email accounts to have access to her online platforms enabling him to re-access or make changes to passwords.
He also set up fake social media accounts in order to send her abusive messages and posted valentine and Christmas cards to her home address. Hughes also took photographs of her property and the vehicles parked outside.
Hughes pleaded guilty to stalking involving serious harm and voyeurism and was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to two years and eight months.
PC Alex Beddard, of Cheshire Constabulary’s Cyber Crime Team, said: “Hughes actions became increasingly obsessive and left the woman feeling vulnerable and unsafe. Over the two-year period, she admitted that she became a shell of her former self and felt powerless to stop it.
“She had thankfully kept a very thorough record of what had taken place and as part of the investigation his devices were seized which showed his infatuation and the lengths he would go to in order to gain control and to torment her.
“I’m pleased that Hughes has admitted to his crimes and that this finally brings an end to what has been an horrendous time for her.
“I hope it enables her and her family to start to live a happy and normal life, free from worrying that they are being monitored and in continual danger and that it reassures other victims of stalking that we will act on this type of behaviour. I would encourage anyone who feels that they may be a victim of stalking to either contact police or the national stalking helpline as soon as possible.”