Man jailed after 'hiding sinister secret' from partner he relentlessly abused

Stalker Jantibhai Patel, of The Green, Dunchurch
-Credit: (Image: Warwickshire Police)

A jealous and controlling stalker who pretended to be someone else to subject his partner to a campaign of abuse has been jailed. Jantibhai Patel was said to have made his victim feel like she was 'being attacked every day for six months.'

Jantibhai, also known as Vijay, entered a relationship with an unnamed woman in April 2019. He quickly became jealous of her seeing friends and family and set up fake telephone numbers to bombard her with messages, Warwickshire Police said.

He cloned her phone and would intercept messages and reply on her behalf, declining invitations to social events without her ever being aware, a court heard. It turned into a relentless pattern of harassment and abuse, including malicious communications, fraud, and stalking.

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Police said the family and friends of the victim started to receive malicious text messages from Patel. He also set up policies in her name meaning she had to contact Action Fraud for these to be cancelled. Each time it would take a couple of hours to do this at a time while she was simultaneously supporting her pregnant daughters and caring for her seriously ill parents, a court heard.

Patel also set up a fake social media account in her name and posted embarrassing messages. She had disabled her social media to protect herself and only became aware of these malicious accounts when friends contacted her, a court heard.

When she was on holiday with friends, Patel sent fake screenshots to the victim that suggested she had been obscene and derogatory about his family, a court heard. She would spend a lot of the time on holiday apologising for things she had not done in order to save her relationship with 58-year-old Patel.

All this time Patel remained in a relationship with the victim and offered to help her find the person responsible for the harassment, a court heard. Police said the victim confided in him about the abuse she was receiving from an 'unknown' person, but he would blame her for 'bringing it on herself.'

Despite changing mobile numbers and email addresses several times and only sharing her new number with Patel and close family and friends the abuse continued. Then in October 2019, believing Patel was tracking her, the victim took her car to a garage where they found a tracking device, a court heard.

A few days later the victim reported him for going inside her house without her knowledge, a court heard. Neighbours confirmed seeing him going to the house on his own on several occasions despite the victim only giving him permission to do so once to walk her dogs.

Detectives analysed the tracking device as well as mobile phone numbers which linked Patel to the course of harassment, a court heard. Police also seized his phone and found photos relating to where the victim was planning to go and who she was planning to meet, Warwickshire Police said.

Patel, of The Green, Dunchurch, appeared at Warwick Crown Court earlier this month where he was jailed after previously pleading guilty to stalking involving alarm and distress, said Warwickshire Police. He was sent to prison for four years.

'Patel could not stand the victim having her own life'

Detective Constable Paul Vaughton, from Warwickshire Police, said: “Like many perpetrators of domestic abuse Patel was jealous and controlling. He could not stand the victim having her own life and set up a whole new persona to harass and intimidate her, all the while portraying himself as the victim.

“It was an incredibly complex investigation and the lengths to which Patel went to cause alarm and distress to the victim and her family were truly unbelievable. All the time he was trying to isolate her from her family and friends.”

DC Vaughton added: “I would like to thank the victim for the bravery and resolve she has shown throughout this investigation. It had a huge impact on her life, and I hope she can take some comfort from the sentence and look forward to more positive times ahead.

“Finally, I hope this case sends a clear message to those who cause so much damage to peoples lives through stalking and harassment. No matter how complicated the web of lies, we will unpick it, find the truth, and deliver justice.”

'It was like being attacked every day for six months'

After the sentencing, the victim said: “It was a totally destabilising experience for me, to suddenly become the target of a malicious hate campaign from an unknown person not knowing what was going to be thrown at me from one day to the next and not knowing why someone would want to do it. It had repercussions on all aspects of my life; social, financial and technical, to the extent that all of these were reduced to the bare minimum. It was like being attacked every day for six months.

“Things only changed when my son became so worried and came back to live with me as I had been led to believe I was being watched and followed. It was then that Patel began to change his stance, starting to accuse me of bringing this not only on myself but also on him and his family, adding to my already high levels of anxiety, stress, and guilt.

“If it was not for Warwickshire Police, primarily DC Paul Vaughton, and the CPS, despite having a strong suspicion towards the end, I would never have been able to prove that my partner was behind this. I cannot thank Paul enough for his validation and belief in my experience, and his determination to bring the offender to justice.”

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