A man found guilty of stalking a woman and damaging her car was sentenced at Luton Crown Court last Monday (19 July).
Gregory Robinson, 31, of no fixed abode, was jailed for stalking a woman in Bedford and damaging her car between December 2019 and January 2020.
During his campaign of abuse, Robinson sent threatening messages to the victim through texts and phone calls from various phone numbers, which came to a head on 27 December 2019, when he smashed the windscreen of her car.
A week after that incident, the victim called the police when she felt like she was being followed. Robinson was arrested shortly after and his discarded and damaged phone was recovered.
On Monday 19 July, Robinson was sentenced to five years and five months imprisonment for stalking with additional 36 months added on extended license. He was also sentenced for one count of criminal damage which will be served concurrently.
Additionally, he was served with a restraining order for an indefinite period of time.
In her statement the victim shared the impact this ordeal had on her life.
She said: “I am always looking outside to see if he has sent somebody. I had to install cameras outside of my house to feel a bit safer. I check the camera a lot to see if anyone is outside.
“He has made me feel frightened of him. His behaviour was very intimidating. He made me feel vulnerable by his constant harassment.
“My family and friends supported me through this. I leaned on them when I was feeling down and particularly anxious.”
Detective Sergeant Pawan Nahar, who led the investigation, said: “We are satisfied with this lengthy sentence reflecting the severity of his actions. Robinson continued to stalk the victim and send threatening messages, and proved that he was ready to act on his threats.
“When police officers attended his home to arrest him he damaged his phone on purpose to destroy evidence against him.
“This was a pointless act as a large number of messages and calls were already recorded on the victim’s phone and linked to Robinson.
“We treat all reports of stalking and harassment seriously, and we hope this sentence will serve as reassurance to other victims, encouraging them to come forward and seek help.
Detective Chief Inspector Craig Laws, from the force’s Emerald team, said: “Our force remains committed to providing support to the victims of stalking. Since new legislation came into force last year, we are better able to protect victims before the behaviour escalates to violence.
“Stalking can have an extremely negative impact on the victim and can result with severe, long lasting trauma.
“Stalking in particular is linked to some of the highest harm crimes, including domestic abuse, sexual offences, and even murder and it is vital we take steps to halt offender actions and protect victims.”
The mnemonic FOUR, Fixated, Obsessive, Unwanted, Repeated, describes stalking behaviour, and this contact can be in person, by gifts, or via social media, email or messaging apps.
To report stalking, call police on 101. In the case of an emergency, always dial 999.
Or for advice and support, you can call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300, or speak with Paladin, the National Stalking Advocacy on 0203 866 4107.