A stalker who subjected a female friend in Boston to a terrifying campaign of threats and attempted blackmail faces custody.
Over a three-week period, the woman, who we are referring to as Miss A, received demands for naked photos of her, had a car tyre punctured and a tracker unknowingly fitted to it.
An ex-partner of hers was arrested and bailed over the offences before police caught the person responsible – 30-year-old John Ogle.
Boston Magistrates’ Court was told on Wednesday that homeless Ogle was friends with Miss A and had stayed at her home for several days in Spring 2020 but there was never anything sexual.
Prosecutor Jim Clare said things turned sour after she had distanced herself from him as she “didn’t feel comfortable in his company”.
“She thought it was her ex-partner who was responsible for the damage and threats of blackmail as well as finding a tracker underneath her car,” added Mr Clare. “However, as the investigation progressed it became clear Mr Ogle was a suspect and her ex-partner was discontinued as a suspect.”
Damage was caused to her car overnight on July 30 when it was parked outside her boyfriend’s.
Using fake accounts, Ogle sent Miss A demands for two naked pictures, saying: “All of this will stop if you do. You pick. Let’s see how much you care about your boyfriend.”
On another occasion, he wrote: “I can make it much worse. You pick. You have two hours or I’m going to do the tyres again.”
Ogle then sent her a video of someone apparently pouring brake fluid into a fuel tank. He was eventually caught on August 19 after sending her a Facebook message saying that she could find him tied up in the boot of a car at a specific location.
Three phones were seized from him which tied him to the messages sent by the fake accounts.
He admitted the offences in police interview.
“Bizarrely, he fitted the tracker in case [the victim] was being unfaithful, even though they were not in a relationship,” said Mr Clare.
Miss A said she felt vulnerable and afraid for her then boyfriend. She was so fearful for herself that she stayed with her parents, whose property had also been threatened.
Ogle, who gave the court a contact address in Witham Town, Boston, pleaded guilty to stalking involving serious alarm or distress.
The defendant, who was not represented, said he had been suicidal before the offences and medication had only made matters worse.
He added: “I started coming off the tablets. I wasn’t altogether sure what I was doing.
“What I really wanted when I found out what I did was to end my life.”
The bench declined jurisdiction and the case was committed to Lincoln Crown Court for sentencing on a date to be fixed.
Ogle was granted bail with the conditions not to contact the victim and not to go within 200m of her or anywhere she might be at.