September 17, 2021 2.32 pm

Lincolnshire Facebook stalker harassed friend so much she tried to kill herself

He has now been jailed

A stalker who caused such fear to his victim that she tried to take her own life has been jailed, Lincoln Crown Court heard on Friday.

John Ogle, who was a Facebook friend with his victim, used fake social media accounts to send messages to the woman with threats to harm her if she did not send him naked photographs.

He made further threats, went on to slash a tyre on her car and fitted a tracking device to her vehicle.

Ogle also messaged her claiming he had kidnapped her boyfriend.

Lucky Thandi, prosecuting, said the victim’s contact with Ogle increased at the start of the first COVID lockdown in the spring of 2020.

Ogle visited her home at one stage and stayed for three days but the relationship between them was purely as friends. However when Ogle discovered she had begun a relationship with another man his behaviour changed.

Miss Thandi said: “She asked the defendant for space which he did not seem to understand and she blocked him on Instagram and Facebook.”

Within a fortnight the woman began receiving threatening messages requesting naked photographs.

One message sent by Ogle from a fake account, said “Watch your boyfriend’s vehicle burn tonight”.

Then, after her car tyre was slashed, she received a further message saying: “I can make it much worse. I know where you work. I know your friends. You’ll never be safe. When I’ve finished with your boyfriend, I’m coming for you.”

The victim then found a tracking device had been fitted to her car. Ogle sent her a photograph of a man taped and tied up in the boot of a car claiming he had kidnapped her boyfriend.

The following day he sent a further photograph which also showed the registration number of Ogle’s car which led police to trace and arrest him.

Until that time the victim believed an ex-boyfriend was responsible.

Miss Thandi said the victim was so badly affected that at one point she took an overdose.

“The threats and harassment massively affected her life. She didn’t feel safe at her home, at work, or outside.

“This was clearly persistent, planned and designed to cause maximum distress.”

Ogle, 30, who gave a ‘care of’ address in Witham Town, Boston, admitted a charge of stalking causing serious alarm or distress between July 30, 2020 and August 19, 2020.

He was jailed for 28 months and given a lifetime restraining order banning him from contacting his victim and from going to any address where he knows her to be living or staying.

Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight told him: “You are manipulative and self centred.

“You were directly and repeatedly threatening her and caused her to try to kill herself.”

Neil Sands, in mitigation, said Ogle has been on bail since he was arrested 13 months ago and in the interim has not contacted his victim. He urged that any prison sentence should be suspended.

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