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Man jailed for harassment and threats to female victim

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A man who waged a campaign of harassment against a woman and threatened to disclose a private photograph has been jailed for more than two years.

Darren Barker, of Gull Road, Guyhirn, near Wisbech, began harassing his victim on 9 June and this continued until 23 June.

The 46-year-old turned up at the woman’s house on numerous occasions and threatened to release a sexual photo of her.

His harassment continued and in just one day, 28 June, he bombarded the woman with eight emails, sent her a Facebook message and twice visited her house.

On one of those occasions, he shouted through her letterbox and asked her to marry him.

Barker sent another email to her the following day, and even more the day after.

Darren Barker, of Gull Road, Guyhirn, near Wisbech, began harassing his victim on 9 June and this continued until 23 June.

Darren Barker, of Gull Road, Guyhirn, near Wisbech, began harassing his victim on 9 June and this continued until 23 June.

On 30 June, the woman was followed by Barker in his van and, while trying to get her to stop, damaged her wing mirror.

The next day, Barker sent the woman a further two emails – one asking her to meet him, or it would be “bad news”. He also followed the woman in her car again, forced her to stop and stole her phone.

Barker was arrested and in interview answered “no comment” to all questions about the criminal damage and contacting the woman on 1 July.

However, in a separate interview relating to the other charges, he admitted the offences.

Barker was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday (31 January) for offences including threatening to disclose private sexual photographs, theft, criminal damage and nine breaches of a non-molestation order.

In committing the offences Barker had also breached a suspended sentence, meaning 12 weeks was added to his sentence.

Barker was sentenced to a total of two years and seven months in prison and was also handed a 10-year restraining order preventing him from contacting the victim.

DC Amanda Pickering said: “The level of harm caused by sharing private sexual photographs should not be underestimated, especially if they are shared by someone you know or trust.

“While this is a rare charge it is very serious, and I hope this case highlights how severely the courts and police take offences of this nature.

“In addition, stalking can be a terrifying experience and leave victims feeling isolated and frightened.

“It isn’t a one-off crime and can often include a series of incidents which, when taken in isolation may seem trivial, but together can be very scary.

“As highlighted by the breach of non-molestation charges, Barker’s stalking/harassment spanned a longer period than just this offending and I hope the sentence imposed now gives the victim some level of closure.

“We would encourage anyone who fears they may be being stalked or harassed to get in touch. We’re here for victims 24/7 and will support them.”

More information and advice can be found on the force’s dedicated stalking and harassment web page.

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