A ‘MENACE’ who harassed a young woman after pretending to be a police officer has been jailed for four years.
Terry Waymark, 36, was convicted at Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday for stalking involving serious alarm or distress.
The court heard he had subjected a 20-year-old woman to a three-week campaign of harassment, after visiting the Portsmouth area chip shop she worked at during October last year.
Placing an order, Waymark falsely claimed he was a police officer and remained in the shop for 20 minutes – talking to and staring at the woman.
A jury heard, about two weeks later, the victim began receiving disturbing text messages from Waymark, who had found her contact details on a business card. He asked her personal questions about her relationship status, called her late at night and constantly asked to meet up with her – threatening he would return to her workplace if they didn’t.
But on October 26, 2017, the court heard, the victim fought back and called the police.
And as Waymark was sentenced yesterday, months later, officers praised the victim’s bravery as she faced him in court.
PC Jon Simpson, offender manager at Southampton Police Station, said: ‘The victim was left terrified by these sudden, unusual and inappropriate messages which she received via email and text messages over a period of several days from a man she did not know.
‘As a result of this behaviour, the victim changed her shifts around at work out of fear of running into him.
‘This fear quickly turned to courage when the young woman contacted police and saw to it that this man was prosecuted.
‘We commend this woman’s bravery and the strength she showed through adversity to help police bring this menace to justice.
‘Officers arrested Waymark just one day after receiving the initial report. This quick work would not have been possible without the detailed account and documented evidence provided to us by the victim.
‘Her actions mean that others will not face being intimidated by this man as he spends the next few years in prison.’
Passing sentence, Judge Mousley QC told the courtroom Waymark acted for his own personal gain and had ‘obtained pleasure’ from the fact the victim had to give evidence in court.
Waymark was also handed an indefinite restraining order.
Detective chief inspector Suzette Allcorn, force lead for stalking, said: ‘Stalking is a crime of persistence, characterised by fixation and obsession.
‘It is a unique, isolating and distressing crime, and the unrelenting behaviour can have a devastating effect on those who experience it.
‘This case shows how seriously we take reports of stalking.
‘We will continue to work hard with partners through Hampshire’s multi-agency Stalking Clinic to ensure everything is being done to stop the behaviour and protect victims.’