Jarrow stalker bombarded ex with calls and messages and hacked into her email after split

A stalker plagued his ex with calls and messages and hacked into her email account after their relationship ended.

Shane Taylor subjected his former partner to months of fear and misery, during which he also followed her in his car, following their separation. Newcastle Crown Court heard how he also gained access to her emails and sent messages pretending to be her. In one he even wrote to the victim's sister claiming she had had an affair with her husband.

After hearing how Taylor's behaviour had left the woman frightened to leave the house and unable to sleep at night, the judge Recorder Dapinder Singh KC jailed the 47-year-old for three years and four months.

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He said: "The offending involved sending text messages, accessing her email, making threats to her, following her in your vehicle and contacting her family members. It's had a serious significant effect on the complainant."

Joe Hedworth, prosecuting explained that Taylor and the victim had been in an "unhappy" relationship for a number of years, before separating last year. He began to plague her with unwanted messages, and followed her home in his car after she had been to a pub for lunch with a friend.

"He bombarded the complainant with text messages and turned-up at her house, all of which was unwanted contact," he said. "The defendant was seen sitting next to the complainant's car when she came out of a pub, his car was parked next to hers. She noticed in her rear view mirror the defendant was tail-gating her. He followed her to her mother's home address. When she pulled over he drove slowly past."

Then in October last year Taylor hacked into his ex's email account and sent emails to members of her family purporting to be from her, including one to her sister appearing to be confessing to an affair. Then three days later the victim received 41 phone calls in the space of seven minutes.

In a victim impact statement read to the court the woman described the devastating impact Taylor's behaviour had had on her. It said: "I feel like I'm living in fear and I can't get on with my life. I don't feel safe in my home address and I'm concerned for the welfare of my children. I feel like I live in constant fear, day and night. I'm terrified of going out, I'm constantly on edge and feel like I have to be looking over my shoulder. Every time I leave the house I carry a rape alarm."

Taylor, who has 14 previous convictions, initially denied stalking his ex, but pleaded guilty to one count of the offence three months before his trial. As well as the prison sentence Taylor, of Durham Grove, in Jarrow, was given a restraining order to keep him away from his victim.

In mitigation Jane Foley said: "He's been out of trouble for 12 years. During that time he's developed a very good work ethic. He does work abroad, that's a job he's confident he can return to when he is released from custody.

"The defendant would say there was fault on both sides, it was unfortunately a very unpleasant break-up which has had a significant impact on all parties involved. He's lost so much as a result of his behaviour."