South Tyneside menace stalked American woman living 3,000 miles away
He has now been jailed and banned from ever making contact with her and another local woman.
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A transatlantic menace who stalked a woman living 3,000 miles away and left her living in fear has been put behind bars.
Rhys Mitcheson bomarded his victim, an ex who lived in America, with calls, emails and social media messages then told her bosses she carried a firearm at work and posted a nude picture of her on Instagram.
Even after the UK and US authorities became involved and he was given court orders, Mitcheson continued to make contact and “declare love for her” until she was left traumatised.
Mitcheson, from South Tyneside, targeted a second woman, who lived closer to home, who was inundated with abuse and threats after she also dumped him.
He has now been jailed and banned from ever making contact with either of the women.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Mitcheson met his first victim, who lived in New York, through online gaming and when she moved to London for an internship they started seeing each other in person.
But the court heard aspects of his behaviour and the distance between the couple when she went back to America, although she frequently visited him in the UK, made the woman end their relationship in February 2019.
As a result, Mitcheson made attempts to disrupt her life. Recorder Shufqat Khan said: “This was through emails, voicemails and social media messages as well. You also told her and mutual friends you were going to kill yourself if she didn’t speak to you.
“She had to block you on social media.”
The court heard Mitcheson told the victim in one message, “I’m persistent, you know that about me”, warned her not to ignore him and stated, “I will find you”.
Recorder Khan added: “You emailed her workplace informing them there were reports she carried a firearm and on one occasion posted a nude photo of her on Instagram.”
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The victim said her ordeal was “extremely disturbing and upsetting”.
The court heard the second woman ended her two year relationship with Mitcheson in January 2022 and in April 2023 he contacted her trying to get back together, which she rejected outright.
He then bombarded her with “threatening and aggressive” messages, across various social media platforms, in which he called her vile names and said,
“I’m going to come down and smash your face in”.
Mitcheson was aggressive to the woman’s partner when he answered the phone and the couple heard “two loud bangs” outside her home later that night.
Mitcheson warned the woman she was “playing with fire” if she ignored him and told her, “You chose this by your actions”.
The victim was caused fear and distress and said her mental health deteriorated because of Mitcheson’s behaviour.
Mitcheson, 27, of Broad Landing, South Shields, South Tyneside, admitted breach of a restraining order and two charges of stalking.
Recorder Khan sentenced him to two years behind bars with indefinite restraining orders to protect both women.
The court heard Mitcheson has since said he is sorry and vowed “never to contact them again”.
Andrew Walker, defending, said Mitcheson had a troubled childhood, has “emotional inadequacies” and did not use any actual violence.
Mr Walker said: “He has difficulty in coping with rejections. Both instances here are unpleasant overreactions to the termination of a relationship.
“He is a young man, he has a lot to learn.”
Mr Walker said Mitcheson, who has mental health issues, has learned a “harsh lesson”.