A brave woman has faced her stalker in court after being subjected to a three week campaign of harassment.
The 20-year-old had been working in a chip shop in the Portsmouth area when a customer started talking to her whilst placing a food order in early October 2017, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.
The man, who she later learned was 36-year-old Terry Waymark, falsely claimed he was a police officer and remained in the shop talking to her and staring at her for 20 minutes.
Approximately two weeks later, the victim began receiving disturbing text messages from the same man who had found her contact details on a business card.
She was asked personal questions relating to her relationship status, before she started receiving phone calls late at night.
The man on the other end of the phone kept asking to meet up with the victim, and told her he would be returning to her workplace to visit her.
On 26 October 2017, the victim fought back and called the police.
PC Jon Simpson, Offender Manager within the Offender Management Unit at Southampton Police Station, said: “The victim was left terrified by these sudden, unusual and inappropriate messages which she received via e mail and text messages over a period of several days from a man she did not know.
“As a result of this behaviour, the victim changed her shifts around at work out of fear of running into him.
“This fear quickly turned to courage when the young woman contacted police and saw to it that this man was prosecuted.
“We commend this woman’s bravery and the strength she showed through adversity to help police bring this menace to justice.
“Officers arrested Waymark just one day after receiving the initial report. This quick work would not have been possible without the detailed account and documented evidence provided to us by the victim.
“Her actions mean that others will not face being intimidated by this man as he spends the next few years in prison.”
Waymark was convicted today (Friday 23 March) of stalking involving serious alarm or distress, contrary to section 4a of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, following trial by jury.
His Honour Judge Mousley QC, passing sentence today, told the courtroom that Waymark acted for his own personal gain and had “obtained pleasure” from the fact that the victim had to give evidence in court.
Waymark was jailed for four years and handed an indefinite restraining order.
Detective Chief Inspector Suzette Allcorn, force lead for stalking, said: “Stalking is a crime of persistence, characterised by fixation and obsession.
“It is a unique, isolating and distressing crime, and the unrelenting behaviour can have a devastating effect on those who experience it.
“This case shows how seriously we take reports of stalking.
“We will continue to work hard with partners through Hampshire’s multi-agency Stalking Clinic to ensure everything is being done to stop the behaviour and protect victims.”