'Obsessive and controlling' - Hitchin stalker handed five-year banning order
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A man from Hitchin has become just the second person nationwide to receive a full five-year Stalking Protection Order, to protect his former partner from his "obsessive and controlling behaviour".
Robert Kemp, 37, previously of Hitchin, was the first person in Herts to be given an interim Stalking Protection Order in October 2020, and is just the second person to receive a full SPO nationally.
The order was given to him at a virtual court on behalf of Luton Magistrates’ Court heard by a district judge on Friday, March 19.
Kemp, who was described as "obsessive and controlling", had previously served a two-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to stalking in July last year.
DI Claire Richardson, from the Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit, explained how Kemp relentlessly harassed his ex-girlfriend on social media after she ended their two-year relationship.
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"He threatened to take his life, used emotional blackmail and gaslighting – all signs of psychological abuse," she said.
"We worked with other agencies to safeguard the victim as well as giving Kemp access to other agencies, including mental health services.”
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His ex-partner shared the anxiety she felt after being persistently harassed online: "It feels like everything I do, anything I post, any app I download, he is there watching and waiting."
Kemp was arrested on June, 26 2020 after the victim called the police when things escalated.
The victim was referred to DC Mawer in the DAISU team, and commented: “Being harassed online is tiring and all consuming. Report it – no matter how insignificant you think it is.
"Screen shot everything as it is evidence no matter how paranoid it may feel - without it, the case will be difficult to prove. I’ve always felt like I was being taken seriously even from the beginning.
"His harassment may seem trivial but it is not. I can finally get on with my life. I’m especially grateful to DC Kate Mawer and Ivona from Safer Places for their ongoing help and support.”
Under the terms of his order, Kemp cannot; approach or communicate with his victim, refer to the victim online or in public, use any mobile phone or computer that has access to the Internet without risk management software being installed.
Detective Constable Kate Mawer from DAISU said: “Kemp was completely fixated on his victim, she felt suffocated and couldn’t breathe without him being there after she had ended their relationship.
"He was literally in every corner of her life, trying to contact her by whatever means.
"The SPO gives her much more protection than a restraining order, which runs alongside this order. I’m pleased to report that her life has been transformed without Kemp.
"She’s so grateful for the support she has received and it is very satisfying from our point of view to know that we can use these powers. If Kemp fails to comply with the SPO, he could be sent back to prison. We will continue to support the victim.”
If you are concerned about anyone's relationship, or if their behaviour has drastically changed, call police no 101 or contact Safer Places at Saferplaces.co.uk.