• Mon. May 27th, 2024

Stalker who left flowers at victim’s work is branded ‘pathetic’

Byoxfordnewspaper

Oct 13, 2022

Had a 42-year-old stalker been a teenager his parents would have told him to ‘stop being pathetic’, a judge said.

Jilted Martin Evans swamped his ex-partner with telephone calls, left a bouquet of flowers outside her hair salon and was filmed driving past her rural workplace after she rejected his proposal of marriage.

The company director was not in a relationship with the woman when he proposed on August 10.

She had moved out of his home six months earlier – ‘heartbroken’ – after she learnt he was texting an ex-partner, although the relationship continued for some time until she decided she ‘couldn’t trust him’.

Prosecutor Jonathan Stone told Oxford Crown Court that over the course of around a week in August, Evans made dozens of attempts to call the woman and added her friends on social media site Instagram.

He drove his Mercedes past the rural salon where she worked. Her boss filmed the car and, later, received a message from Evans that said: “I’m going to destroy your business.”

The following day, August 17, a courier arrived with flowers. She refused the blooms only to find them left on her usual parking space the next morning.

On August 20, he went to her parents’ home and was ‘banging on the doors and windows’. He was arrested and answered no comment to questions put to him by the police, Mr Stone said.

The court heard Evans, of Gravel Hill, Henley, had 14 previous convictions – including more than a dozen for breaching restraining orders.

Judge Michael Gledhill KC said: “If you were 16 years old, your behaviour during those eight days in August would have led your parents to tell you to stop being pathetic.

“Your behaviour was completely intolerable.”

The flowers Martin Evans left at his victim's workplace Picture: CPS

Mitigating, John Briant asked the judge to suspend any prison sentence. His client had done the equivalent of a five month jail sentence on remand and, by suspending the sentence, he would be able to work with the probation service to address his behaviour.

He had his own flat and a well-paid job for a firm providing IT software to the care industry.

Judge Gledhill agreed to suspend the two-year jail sentence, noting Evans had been out of trouble for five years, was employed and could be dealt with ‘within the probation service’. “I am just persuaded to suspend the sentence, although there will be some who say I am being far too lenient.”

Evans, who pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to stalking and sending malicious communications, was ordered to do the building better relationships course, 11 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay £475 in prosecution costs. A restraining order bans him from contacting his victim for a decade.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward