A Belfast man has been jailed for subjecting his student ex-partner to a campaign of harassment which left her so scared she moved back home to the Isle of Man.
loyd Thompson, 30, followed the woman in his car and used fake accounts to send her photographs and allegedly threatening messages after they broke up.
She said she is now terrified at having to return to Northern Ireland to complete her college course.
Sentencing Thompson to five months custody, District Judge Nigel Broderick said: “The victim has suffered not just physical, but more so emotional harm.”
The defendant, of Parkgate Avenue, admitted charges of harassment and improper use of communications to cause anxiety on dates between August 2019 and February this year.
Belfast Magistrates’ Court was told the woman continuously received photographs and messages from fake accounts she suspected were set up by Thompson.
Prosecutors claimed there were 14 incidents, including unwanted emails, contact on social media, and communication she believed to be threatening.
In two message he told her that he was going to take his own life, and continued with the “distressing” campaign despite attempts to block him.
Despite being banned from contacting his ex-partner under bail conditions, Thompson was spotted last September in a parked car across the street from her place of study on Belfast’s Lisburn Road.
He waited while she was in a supermarket and then drove down the road after her, shouting out the window.
A day later Thompson pulled up in his BMW and “kerb crawled” alongside her on the Lisburn Road.
“He was laughing and pointing his finger at the injured party,” a Crown lawyer said.
In a statement read out in court, the woman told of suffering severe anxiety and panic because of Thompson.
She said: “I had planned to stay in Belfast for the summer period and work, but I became so frightened of what he may do I left my job and returned home to the Isle of Man.”
Even then she still felt unsafe due to his actions.
“I was terrified to leave the house, and when I did leave I was always hyper vigilant for my own personal safety,” she said.
The woman stated that she always made sure her doors and windows were locked, and had to be prescribed with anti-depressants to cope with her symptoms.
“(Thompson’s) actions have had a severe impact on my everyday life, and I am struggling to come to terms with what he has done,” she added.
“I have to return to Belfast this September to complete my college course and I am terrified in case he continues his actions, or in case I may see him again.
“I just want to be left alone, and not be living in fear of what he may do.”
Defence solicitor Eoghan McKenna told the court Thompson accepted it had been wrong to send the messages after the couple split.
“He should have walked away entirely from this situation,” the lawyer said.
“Hopefully this will create space for both parties to move on.”
Ruling that the offences warranted a jail sentence, Mr Broderick also imposed a three-year restraining order on Thompson.
“This was a prolonged course of conduct which clearly amounted to harassment,” the judge said.
“One should never underestimate the consequence of emotional harm, because those effects can be long lasting.”