A WOMAN who hounded her former lover over money she was owed has been given a restraining order.
Maria Blake bombarded her girlfriend of seven years with emails after the pair split in September, Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard.
The 33-year-old sent 57 messages in a fortnight in October – demanding she pay her back a sum of £300, which had changed hands when they were together.
Many of the messages were said to be upsetting, with Blake, of Purbrook Way in Havant, stating in one she would ‘plaster the victim’s stuff all over the internet’ – threatening to tell friends and family of the debt she owed.
The impact of this – which the court said amounted to stalking – was argued to be ‘detrimental to the victim’s health’.
In a letter read aloud by prosecutor Nick Hoyle, the victim, who was not present, said: ‘This is affecting my wellbeing – especially when I get calls at work which cause me to lose concentration.’
The court heard Blake – who has post-traumatic stress and borderline personality disorders – began sending the messages herself and through friends after turning to drugs and alcohol as a result of the breakdown of her relationship.
After the correspondence was reported to police, Blake was arrested on Tuesday, November 7.
Defending, Sarah Hallett said: ‘Miss Blake is extremely remorseful over what happened between her and the victim.
‘She heard she was in a relationship with someone else and was extremely upset by this.
‘She fully accepts the volume of these messages was not appropriate.’
Following her guilty plea to stalking and causing serious alarm and distress, the court’s chairman, Alan Key, gave Blake a restraining order for the next 12 months.
The defendant must not contact the victim directly – only through a third party – and must not go to her home.
The judge said: ‘We are going to go along with a conditional discharge.
‘This does not mean you have got away with this offence.
‘If you are convicted for anything in the next 12 months you will reappear before a court.’
Blake was ordered to pay £80 in court costs as well as a £20 victim surcharge.
The court heard police are working to retrieve her £300.