Hitchin man who ‘ruined’ ex-partner’s life handed Herts’ first stalking protection order
PUBLISHED: 15:16 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:51 14 October 2020
A Hitchin man has been given the first stalking protection order in Hertfordshire after his obsessive and controlling behaviour “ruined” the life of his ex-partner.
Robert Kemp, from The Maples, was given an extension of his interim SPO at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, after previously being given a two-year restraining order.
The 37-year-old was also sentenced to two months in prison after pleading guilty to stalking in July this year.
The court heard how Kemp had been in a relationship with his victim for just under two years.
Det Insp Claire Richardson from the Domestic Abuse and Investigation Safeguarding Unit (DAISU) said: “When she ended the relationship, after discovering he had repeatedly lied to her, his behaviour became obsessive and he harassed her on social media and online, as well as face to face.
“He threatened to take his life, used emotional blackmail tactics and gaslighting – all signs of psychological abuse.”
The victim said: “Being harassed online is tiring and all consuming. It feels like everything I do online, anything I post, any app I download, he is there watching and waiting.”
Det Con 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. She is slowly trying to rebuild her life but she has lost a new job as a result of how this has affected her mental health.”
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The victim called police on the non-emergency number 101 when things escalated and Kemp was arrested on June 26, 2020. The victim was immediately referred to DC Mawer in DAISU and Safer Places.
The victim added: “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 wouldn’t hesitate to report it again if ever I was in the same situation. I’ve always felt like I was being taken seriously even from the beginning. I’d especially like to thank PC Kate Mawer and Ivona from Safer Places for their ongoing help and support.”
DI Richardson said: “Sadly stalking is prevalent. The Office of National Statistics say that one in five women and one in 10 men will be victims of stalking in their lifetime.
“The good news is that we have robust ways to deal with this unwanted and irrational behaviour. We work with a number of specialist agencies to support and protect victims so that they can get on with their lives while arresting and charging perpetrators.
“We were aware of other police forces using this powerful legislation and applied for the SPO to safeguard the victim from further harm and prevent Kemp from carrying out further harassment and stalking. Kemp’s SPO gives his victim added protection.”
Under the order, Kemp is prohibited from a number of things, including approaching, seeking to approach or communicating with the victim, and entering or coming within 100 metres of any address of location he knows or believes the victim to be or frequent.
He must also provide Herts police with a list of all internet-enabled devices that he holds or has control of, and continue to engage with mental health services and attend probation appointments as required.
The victim added: “He has ruined my life, his harassment may seem trivial but it is not. I want to get on with my life. I want him to do the same. He needs to understand that when it’s over, it’s over and you need to let go.
“If you know anyone whose behaviour has changed and are concerned about their relationship, call police on 101 or Safer Places on Saferplaces.co.uk. Please be reassured, we are always here to help.”
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