A man who obsessively stalked his wife and “threatened to kill her” has been given Hertfordshire’s first full Stalking Protection Order (SPO).

The five-year order, granted at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on Monday, February 8, is also the first of its kind in the country as it was obtained without support from the victim.

If the defendant from Watford breaches the terms of the SPO, he will be arrested.

“This is really powerful new legislation which gives protection to those who are being stalked obsessively,” said Detective Inspector Fay Tooley from the Domestic Abuse Investigation Safeguarding Unit (DAISU). 

She added: “These kinds of predatory behaviours can escalate putting many victims’ lives at risk.  An SPO goes a long way to protecting victims, whether or not they wish to support a police prosecution.”

The court heard that the 39-year-old man, who has not been named at the request of the victim, stalked his wife obsessively between September and October 2020.

“His behaviour quickly escalated,” explained PC Kate Mawer from DAISU, who supported the victim alongside the officer in the case, Detective Constable Adam Haines. 

“As well as regularly following her to work, asking colleagues personal questions about her and waiting outside her address for hours watching her, he also called her more than 560 times over a two-month period.

“On one occasion, he followed her to the supermarket and threatened to kill her before spitting in her face. The stalking was relentless and even caused fear to her family by turning up at their homes.

PC Mawer added that he sent her "horrible" voice notes and accused her of being unfaithful after she ended their relationship.

"He was fixated on her and she couldn’t breathe without fearing him being around the next corner,” she said.

DI Tooley said: “The victim had her own reasons that prevented her from being able to fully support the prosecution, but that didn’t stop us from protecting her from this dangerous man.  The victim said she is incredibly grateful for the support she has been given by DAISU, especially PC Mawer.

“She also said that she feels so relieved that we took her allegations seriously. She hopes to start a new life without looking over her shoulder and hopes it empowers other people in a similar situation to get the help they need.”

She added: “Sadly stalking is prevalent. The good news is that we have robust ways to deal with this unwanted and irrational behaviour. Our job is primarily to protect victims and their families from abuse and secondly, bring abusers before the courts to account for their actions."

DI Tooley said that police applied for an SPO to safeguard the victim from further "harm and prevent her husband from carrying out further harassment".

The conditions of the order prohibit the defendant from:

  1. Following, approaching, seeking to approach or communicating by whatever means, directly or indirectly with the victim (this includes social media or using banking apps).
  2. Entering or coming within 100 meters of any address or location he knows or believes the victim to be or frequent; this includes her place of work.
  3. Making any video or engaging in any surveillance of the victim or other family member without their permission.
  4. Attending his children’s school without prior appointment.

He must also provide the police, upon request, with access to his social media accounts, mobile phones, computers and tablets, including passwords/codes/usernames in relation to those devices.