A man who subjected his ex-partner to a campaign of harassment and stalking has received a suspended prison sentence.
Gordon Raymond Bell, 38, of Nunnery Lane, York, was found guilty of stalking Anna Hemmingfield (nee Fenton), 34, of York, following a trial at York Magistrates’ Court on 12 May 2015.
He was sentenced on Tuesday 2 June to 16 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, which includes a supervision order.
A restraining order was also granted by the court against Bell to protect his victim, and he is required to complete a building better relationships course, carry out 120 hours of unpaid community work and pay for court costs.
Bell targeted Anna between 23 November and 1 December 2013.
He sent her a series of text messages, stalked her at her home address and in the streets of York, and followed her then new partner from York to his house in Leeds where he threatened him.
Bell’s alarming and distressing behaviour towards Anna was witnessed first-hand by a support worker from IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Support), a York-based charity that provides comprehensive support services to those experiencing or affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence across North Yorkshire.
The support worker was in Anna’s home when Bell telephoned her. Anna switched the speaker phone on allowing him to be heard.
Even after being arrested and questioned by the police, Bell went straight to Anna’s place of work where he walked past the window causing her further alarm and distress.
North Yorkshire Police worked jointly with IDAS throughout the investigation to ensure the best quality of service was provided to Anna and to secure the conviction of Bell.
Detective Constable Tracey Pearson, from the York Investigation Hub, said: “I pay tribute to Anna who has remained strong and focused throughout the distressing criminal justice process.
“The outcome of this case demonstrates once again that victims of domestic abuse, stalking and harassment are believed and fully supported by North Yorkshire Police and our partner agencies such as IDAS.
“We take all reports of domestic abuse very seriously and recognise the psychological and emotional trauma suffered by victims, which can be utterly devastating.
“I encourage other potential victims to be as brave as Anna and contact the police and make a report to a specialist Domestic Abuse police officer.
“We are here to help and will provide professional, sensitive support every step of the way. Please don’t suffer this terrible abuse in silence.”
A spokeswoman from IDAS added: “We are pleased that this stalking and harassment case is over for the victim and she can move on with her life free from fear.
“Stalking and harassment has a hugely detrimental effect on victims’ lives and is often under-reported. We would encourage anyone who is worried that they are being abused, stalked or harassed to phone the IDAS 24 hour confidential helpline on 03000 110 110.”
If you are a victim of domestic abuse or believe you are being harassed or stalked, please do not hesitate to seek help and support fromNorth Yorkshire Police by calling101, selectoption 1, and pass details to theForce Control Room.
Information can also be passed to the independent charityCrimestoppers anonymously on0800 555 111.
If you feel threatened or require emergency assistance, always dial999.
For further information about the help and advice available to victims of domestic abuse, harassment and stalking, please go to the North Yorkshire Police websitewww.northyorkshire.police.uk/domesticabuse
Contact information for IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Support):
39 Blossom Street
Domestic Abuse Helpline: 03000 110 110
Rape Support Line: 0300 111 0777
Craven outreach: 01756 794400
Hambleton & Richmondshire outreach: 01609 779769
Harrogate refuge: 01423 530078
Harrogate outreach: 01423 858335
Scarborough IDVA and ISVA service: 03000 110 110
Selby outreach: 01757 290040
York refuge: 01904 646630
York outreach: 01904 646036
3 June 2015 – 11.45amPosted on in News stories