Stalker subjected ex-husband to campaign of harassment - including making rat and food poisoning claims against his business

A stalker who subjected her ex-husband to a campaign of harassment – which included writing on his business's Facebook page that a rat was on the premises – has kept her freedom.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 3:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 4:04 pm
The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

Gemma Proud struggled to accept the break up last year and went on to send a series of messages to her former partner - as well as to his mother, friends and work associates over a four month period.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the 37-year-old also created a number of fake Facebook profiles from which she posted accusations of him of having affairs and being a "wife beater."

Claire Anderson, prosecuting, told the court: "The complainant was married to the defendant for a period of two-and-a-half years but had separated in June 2020 when the defendant accused him of attacking her which was later left as a no further action from the police.

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"She would contact his mother, friends, customers and employees often being drunk."

The court heard how the complainant's mother, who was at the time acting as a intermediary between the couple, had eventually cut contact from Proud, also known as Rowe, due to the abusive messages she was receiving from her.

Ms Anderson added: "On June 14 he contacted the police as the defendant had posted messages on his business' Facebook page saying he was charged with domestic abuse.

"On August 16 the defendant again commented on the business' Facebook page saying there was a rat on the food premises."

Proud also claimed that she had been given food poisoning by a meal she had eaten from the business.

The court heard how Proud had messaged the complainant's friends' partners telling them they were being cheated on, as well as contacting a local football team his business sponsored saying he was an ex-prisoner.

There was no suggestion in court that there was any truth in Proud's claims.

Proud, of Bede Walk, Hebburn, admitted one count of stalking at South Tyneside Magistrates Court at an earlier hearing.

A victim personal statement was read out in court which said the man had been through the "worst 12 months" of his life, but wanted Proud to be given another chance.

Judge Robert Spragg told her: "You are 37 and have no previous convictions.

"You contacted his mother, family, friends, employees and were often drunk.

"Eventually his mother, after a barrage of abuse, stopped acting as an intermediator.

"To your credit, you pleaded guilty at the Magistrates Court.

"He said he provided an extremely fair victim personal statement saying that alcohol destroys lives.

"In your defence he says you did ask for help from your doctor which was refused."

The judge sentenced Proud to four months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

He also imposed a three year restraining order as well as a three month night-time curfew.Sam Faulks, mitigating, said: "When life throws people curveballs people who are resilient can deal with it in a resilient way.

"This defendant at that time was not resilient so when she started having problems in her marriage the consequences of that was what we have seen before us today.

"This is a case where the parties appear to have moved on and are beginning to heal.

"One of the most significant features of this case is her willingness to rid herself of her alcohol addiction."Proud was also ordered to complete an alcohol addiction requirement programme for 12 months and must participate in 25 days of rehabilitation requirements.

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