A stalker who “bombarded” a Heckmondwike shop worker with hundreds of unwanted Facebook messages has been jailed for two years.
A judge told Wesley Bolton, 40, that his offending had had a significant impact on his sandwich shop manager Kelly Brennan’s health and well-being and it had restricted her every day activities.
“I am satisfied that you are a menace and have no thought for the concerns or feelings of those that you target,” Judge David Hatton QC told Bolton.
The judge said that over a period of weeks in late 2016 Bolton, of Wood Avenue, Heckmondwike, had bombarded 38-year-old Miss Brennan with hundreds of unwanted internet messages.
He is also understood to have turned up at her workplace in the town called The Egg Box.
“Your messages to her were largely intimidatory and some of them sinister,” said Judge Hatton.
The judge said some messages gave the impression that Bolton was tracking his victim’s movements and tracing her address.
“They instilled her with fear which, I am satisfied, they were intended to do,” he added.
Judge Hatton said the case was aggravated by the fact that Bolton had deliberately ignored a harassment notice served on him.
In a victim personal statement Miss Brennan described being very upset by Bolton’s behaviour and said she had lost weight and confidence as a result.
Bolton, who had a previous conviction for similar offending, was found guilty after a trial of stalking causing serious alarm or distress.
Jailing him at Bradford Crown Court today (Fri) Judge Hatton said a community sentence would serve no purpose and only a sentence of imprisonment was appropriate.
The judge also imposed a five-year restraining order which bans Bolton from contacting his victim again and restricts his movements close to her workplace.
Speaking afterwards Miss Brennan said she was pleased with the jail sentence and especially the restraining order.
She revealed it all started when Bolton would wave as he walked past the shop and she would return the wave but she said he took it completely the wrong way and started to bombard her with unwanted messages.
She said that after police had warned Bolton to stay away from her his offending had got even worse.
She added: “By the end I was receiving messages every few minutes – around 50 a day. There was even an occasion when the police were with me and the messages kept on arriving even though they were there. I just didn’t know what he was capable of doing.”