Stalker DJ back on air

Dave Walls
Dave Walls

A RADIO Hartlepool DJ who abused his position to launch a terrifying five-month stalking campaign on a teenage girl is now back on air.

David Walls was slapped with a three-year restraining order after a court heard how be bombarded a teenage listener with Facebook messages and offers of free cinema tickets in an attempt to win her affections.

When she refused to meet him he even tried to get into her home. But now he is back on air on the York Road-based station’s Drivetime show.

His boss, station managing director Jason Anderson, confirmed that Walls is back on the airwaves and said he “deserved a second chance”.

Walls pleaded guilty to two counts of harassment committed between January 1 and May 2, and failing to surrender to custody on June 7 when he appeared at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court last year.

Justices ordered him to stay away from the victim and her mother after being slapped with a three-year order, he was ordered to pay £100 compensation, £85 costs, and was ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work while on an 18-month supervision order.

The court had heard how Walls, who was aged 30 at the time, struck up a friendship with the girl on social networking site Facebook before it quickly became sinister.

He used his position at the radio station to try to lure the girl, offering her free cinema tickets in a bid to impress her.

He then sent his victim lurid messages, including asking how many men she had slept with, on the social networking site Facebook.

But when she refused to meet him he tried to get into her home on two occasions.

Walls, of Helmsley Street, Hartlepool, was snared by the girl’s parents, who set up CCTV cameras at their home in an attempt to trap the predator.

Luckily her mum had popped back home at around 8am on April 25 for an umbrella when she saw a black-gloved hand reach around the door then disappear when she disturbed him.

Fearing another episode, the woman, who described Walls’ behaviour as “every parent’s worst nightmare”, installed a security camera that filmed Walls walk down her garden path and then try the door at the same time on May 2.

During police interview, Walls said he had feelings towards the teenager and knew she was only 17.

The court heard Walls was of previous good character.

Mr Anderson said: “We are happy to have Dave Walls back ‘on air’ at Radio Hartlepool, where he is again a valued member of the Radio Hartlepool volunteer crew.

“We are aware that Dave was convicted on a harassment charge some time ago, and lessons have been learned, and we feel that Dave deserves a second chance.

“Dave has been missed by many of our listeners who have shown great support on his return, by way of texts, emails and calls to the studio.”