‘Paranoid’ Derbyshire stalker made victim’s life ‘hell’ with phone calls and Facebook messages

Derby Crown Court.
Derby Crown Court.
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An ‘obsessed, mentally ill’ stalker who bombarded a former neighbour with 200 phone calls in one night has walked free from court.

Cory Bryan, of Limes Avenue, Alfreton, left his victim so concerned she would not go outside and at one stage she was forced to stay at her sister’s Derbyshire home.

Derby Crown Court was told how the victim, who lived with her 78-year-old mother, felt her life was being monitored and on one occasion she returned from a night out and had received 25 missed calls and further calls continued.

At other times she experienced banging and tapping on walls that forced the complainant to leave the house.

And Rebecca Coleman, prosecuting, said that during one evening there were 200 phone calls to the victim which only stopped after the complainant unplugged her phone.

Handing the 22-year-old an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, Recorder Helen Malcolm QC said she recognised Bryan’s behaviour must have been ‘hell’ for the complainant.

She said: “It’s difficult to imagine the misery you caused to your victim and her 78-year-old mother.

“Neither her home or her garden or her electronic environment were places of safety.

“You targeted her friends and family electronically as well and this harassment was as bad as a violent assault.”

Miss Coleman said: “The defendant caused huge distress with unwanted contact.

“There were messages via Facebook and indirect contact via friends and family and physical activity with banging and tapping on walls of adjoining houses.

“A lot of messages were sent by fake Facebook accounts when other accounts were blocked.”

Bryan was not even deterred when the police became involved and even wrongly obsessed that the victim was having a relationship with one of the police officers who cautioned him.

She said: “His behaviour became obsessive and relentless.”

Bryan called the victim 200 times in one night

Bryan was arrested and admitted making calls and being obsessed with finding out what she was doing.

The complainant said that her home where she lives with her 78-year-old mother, was no longer a place where she could relax and she felt she was being watched and could not go out and when she received messages she felt sick.

Bryan pleaded guilty to stalking between December, last year, and February, this year.

Gurdial Singh, for Bryan, said: “It is not a normal case of harassment or stalking with malice. It’s a case where someone has quite clearly got a mental illness.”

Mr Singh added that, while paranoid, Bryan had become fixated but he realises what it must have been like for the complainant.

He added there was no direct contact or threats of violence and Bryan was getting help for his mental health difficulties.

As well as the suspend jail term he was handed a restraining order banning him from going to the complainant’s road and from having any contact with her.