A JILTED man who “persecuted” his ex-partner in a two-month stalking campaign after she dumped him has narrowly avoided jail.
William Daglish, 47, made uninvited calls to the woman’s home, followed her in his car, left her a card professing his love, and even followed her through every aisle of a supermarket after she broke off their relationship.
The woman, a mother-of-two, said his “fascination” with her had led her to consider moving away from her home.
Daglish was handed an eight week prison term at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday – but the sentence was suspended to allow probation service to work with him in a bid to change his behaviour.
He was also given a restraining order, banning him from contacting the victim.
The court heard that Daglish, of Sutton Way, Cleadon Park, South Shields, had been before the court for similar offences in 2007 and 2009.
Daglish had initially denied the charge of stalking, involving serious alarm and distress – only to change his plea on the day he was due to stand trial last month.
He was back at court yesterday to be sentenced after a report was prepared on him by the probation service.
The offences took place between October 6 and December last year.
Sarah Guest, prosecuting, said: “On one occasion Dalgish went to the woman’s home and said he just wanted to talk to her and sort things out.
“She asked him to leave her alone, or she would call the police. He later left her a card, saying he loved her.
“On October 17, she had been picked up by her mother and was travelling along the John Reid Road in South Shields, when she saw him driving behind them. He was driving extremely close to the rear of their vehicle.
“On October 18, he pulled up next to her in his car and offered to give her a lift.”
On another occasion, Daglish followed her into her every aisle in a local supermarket and followed her in South Shields town centre.
In a statement read out in court, the victim said: “I believe he is trying to emotionally bully me.
“I don’t know what I can to do stop him. I am concerned for my children and myself about his behaviour and his fascination with me.
“I don’t know why he can’t just leave me alone. I feel persecuted. The incidents have made me want to leave the area.”
District Judge Helen Cousins said: “Daglish has a record for this sort of behaviour. It’s the way he has behaved in 2007 and 2009, and again now.
“Community orders in the past haven’t dealt with his behaviour.
“These offences are so serious that the custody threshold has been passed.
“The only question is whether I suspend it or not.
“I am prepared to suspend it but let me make it very clear, the primary concern I have is that I have to protect the victim and those potentially in the future from this behaviour.
“A prison sentence would not do anything to alter his behaviour.
“I do hope that, with the good work of the probation service and the Building Better Relationships programme, that his behaviour can be addressed and therefore not be repeated.”
She told Daglish: “Your behaviour has been utterly unacceptable. You have terrified and frightened her.
“I take heart from the fact that you have accepted full responsibility and shown remorse for this victim and those previously.”
Daglish was given an eight-week jail sentence – suspended for 18 months and including supervision by the probation service.
He was also ordered to pay court costs of £400 and a victim surcharge of £80.
He also made the subject of an indefinite restaining order barring any contact with the victim.
Victim’s dad: he should be in jail
THE FATHER of the woman subjected to a two month stalking campaign by a former partner says he should have been sent to jail.
William Daglish was handed a suspended jail term and slapped with a restraining order after stalking his former partner from October to December of last year.
Her father said she did the right thing by taking action against him – but said he had hoped for a stronger message to be sent out by the court system.
The man, who asked not to be named, said: “He should have been jailed.
“You hear people making an uproar about the dangers of stalking, but then he walks away with a suspended sentence.
“That’s nothing. A stronger message should definitely be sent out.”
He says he is now hoping that Daglish keeps away from his daughter – who, he said, is getting her life back on track after her ordeal.
He added: “We just have to wait and see now. I felt helpless at the time.
“They only went out for a couple of weeks and she ended it because he was too controlling.
“She is doing better now that it has gone to court.
“She did the right thing by telling the police about it.”