Hartlepool stalker sacked after conviction

A taxi driver who stalked his ex-girlfriend lost his job after she called the police.

Monday, 9th May 2016, 5:00 am
Smith appeared at Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

David Smith ignored a Protection from Harassment Notice and continued trying to contact Deborah Best, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.

“Mr Smith had been in a relationship with Ms Best,” said David Maddison, prosecuting.

“He was issued with the notice after the relationship ended, but breached it by turning up at Ms Best’s place of work, at a pub she was in, and by sending texts.”

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Smith, 48, of James Street, Hartlepool, admitted stalking without causing fear, alarm or distress between February 24 and March 14.

Alison Banks, defending, said: “They had been in a relationship for four months, and he wanted some closure as to why it ended.

“The texts were a two-way thing, and she went to a club with him, so he was getting mixed messages from her.

“He has no history of stalking, harassment or violence.”

Ms Banks told the court Smith was working as a taxi driver.

“He was hauled before the authorities when they heard about this matter,” Ms Banks added.

“They withdrew his taxi licence, which means he now has no job. Mr Smith already had problems with depression, and those problems will not have been helped by him being put out of work.

“He has made genuine attempts at suicide, but the underlying mental health issues are now being addressed.”

Smith was sentenced to a community order of 12 months, including 20 days of rehabilitation activity and £100 costs.

The magistrates made Smith the subject of a restraining order for 12 months.