A Mirfield man who threatened to place explicit images of his wife on the internet and threatened to kill her has been spared jail.
Jonathan Haycock, a well-educated, 47-year-old, sent numerous texts to Victoria Haycock following the break up of their 10-year-old marriage.
He pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to a single charge of harassment without violence and appeared at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court for sentence.
Prosecutor Waseem Raja said the relationship had broken down in September 2013 and the harassment began on March 23 this year and lasted until April 19.
He said: “In March 2014 this defendant found out that his ex-wife had started a new relationship with a new male. That’s when the text messages started.”
He said the complainant, who spends much of her life in Sweden, “believed that the defendant had set up a false identity on Facebook so he could stalk her.”
He told the court that if she did not pay settlement money to the defendant he said he would post explicit images of her on the internet, adding: “She felt worried and scared.”
Mr Raja said: “The complainant thought he was going to post these images on the internet if she didn’t do what he wanted and give him the money.”
He said the messages were “quite graphic. To say they are unpleasant is an understatement. It would surprise no-one that the complainant had had enough by now.
“What he was saying, what his intentions were had caused her some distress. She reported the matter to the police.
“Detectives asked him for his account and he accepted that he had sent the messages.”
In mitigation, Paul Normandale said his client who lives at Station Road, Eastthorpe, “clearly had psychiatric issues”.
He said: “We accept that the content of these messages is extremely unpleasant. But this is only the culmination of vitriolic behaviour on both parties.”
He said his client had no intention of putting the images on Facebook. He was of previous good character and there had been no previous domestic incidents.
In the past the defendant had run two thriving companies but was now unemployed and in receipt of benefits.
Mr Normandale said: “He is genuinely terrified that because of this behaviour that a custodial sentence will follow.”
The chairman of the bench, Elisabeth Heptonstall, sentenced him to a community order for 12 months with a 30 day activity requirement.
He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60 and £100 costs.