VIDEO: Brave victim of ‘devious’ Spotted Portsmouth stalker praised by charity

The incident took place at a school in Southampton.

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DOMESTIC abuse workers have praised the bravery of stalking victim whose evidence jailed a ‘devious’ man who ‘trashed’ the woman’s life over seven months.

Obsessed Paul Nelson, 46, was yesterday jailed for 21 months for his campaign of ‘psychological warfare’ against the 31-year-old Southsea woman.

JAILED Paul Nelson

JAILED Paul Nelson

Portsmouth Crown Court heard the woman rebuffed his advances sparking allegations he started harassing her in 2015.

Nelson, of Western Parade, Southsea, hacked her Gmail and social media accounts in 2016 in a bid to ‘monitor’ any further allegations but this ‘became an obsession,’ his lawyer said.

Jailing Nelson, who admitted stalking causing alarm or distress, Recorder Gordon Bebb QC said: ‘In my judgement your stalking was calculated, persistent, devious and determined.

‘And you showed... a degree of expertise in accessing her accounts and sites and covering your tracks.’

Jailed: Paul Nelson

Jailed: Paul Nelson

He added: ‘It was no less than psychological warfare and directly intimidating.’

Now domestic abuse charity Aurora New Dawn, which covers Hampshire, has praised Nelson’s victim for her bravery.

Shonagh Dillon, from Aurora, said: ‘This case has shown the sheer commitment and determination of the offender who undertook a campaign of stalking and harassment of this victim over a long period of time.

‘Stalking is about obsession and fixation and often stalkers will present in many guises being both plausible externally and simultaneously terrifying their victims.

‘This then undermines the victims’ experiences and given the level of reach Mr Nelson had on his Spotted Portsmouth page it is undeniable that he used his position and his understanding of social media and technology to further terrorise this victim.

‘The bravery of the victim in this case cannot be underestimated and we are pleased she has been heard and that a custodial sentence has been passed.

‘Hampshire Constabulary worked tirelessly on this case and we would like to thank them for their commitment to ensuring that justice was served.’

As reported, Nelson was due to stand trial on Monday but was arrested at 1.30am at his home after breaching bail on Sunday night by walking by the victim’s place of work and doing a ‘sinister’ laugh in her face.

He admitted stalking after being brought up from the cells on Monday ahead of his trial.

Henry Gordon, prosecuting, had told the court how Nelson hacked into the woman’s Gmail account in May last year, monitoring her movements from taxi firm Uber email confirmations.

Nelson accepted all the stalking but denied any wrongdoing dating back to 2015.

The judge added: ‘You trashed her name generally either to the public or to her friends.’

Charlotte Hole, mitigating, said: ‘He accepts this matter did develop into an obsession.’

n Get help via (023) 9247 9254 or stalking@aurorand.org.uk