'Coward' made ex-girlfriend's life 'a misery' by stalking her on Bumble dating app and tormenting her at her home in Leeds

A man stalked his ex-girlfriend on a dating app and left her too afraid to live on her own as he subjected her to prolonged psychological abuse.

Joseph Palmer set up fake online dating site accounts in order to make his former partner's life 'a misery' when she ended their relationship

Leeds Crown Court heard Palmer had known the victim since they were at school together and they had been friends for over a decade.

Palmer and the woman began a relationship in January 2020 but it broke down in December of that year.

Leeds Crown Court.

Mehran Nassiri, prosecuting, said the two of them remained friends but Palmer began the offending when he discovered that the woman was on a dating site.

Palmer searched the Bumble dating app and found her profile.

He then set up fake dating profiles purporting to be other men and made contact with her on the site.

He used the accounts to arrange meetings with her which he failed to attend.

Read More

Read More
Sadistic Leeds murderer Mohammed Fike Butt loses appeal to have his 28-year sent...

Palmer instead sent the victim abusive messages when she showed up for the meetings.

The court heard the woman also decided to rent out the spare room at her home in Leeds.

Palmer responded to an advert pretending to be a woman interested in renting the room

The 32-year-old defendant then began to travel to Leeds from his home in Somerset to "torment" her.

He turned up at her home on March 12 last year and said he did not want the relationship to be over.

She made it clear to him that the relationship was over but he continued to stalk her, telling her that he planned to move to Leeds.

In April she went for a walk in Potternewton Park and saw the defendant wearing shades with his hood pulled up.

She sent him a text message saying: "Tell me that's not you."

On another occasion he turned up at her home and told her he was moving into a house close to her home.

The woman blocked Palmer from all social media and went to live with her parents as she was so fearful of him.

He then turned up at her parents house and posted a letter.

She reported Palmer to the police and the dating app accounts were found to be linked to his internet provider address.

Palmer, Bishops Hull, Taunton, was interviewed by the police and accepted sending abusive and degrading messages in order to "put her off" other men.

He pleaded guilty to stalking.

The victim provided a statement to the court describing how she now fears being alone and carries a rape alarm.

A probation service report stated Palmer continues to show a lack of awareness of what he had done to the victim.

A probation officer said Palmer had "focussed on his own feelings" when interviewed about the offence and considered the victim "an afterthought".

The court heard Palmer is now in a new relationship.

Judge Robin Mairs adjourned an earlier hearing, on January 27, and remanded Palmer in custody while he considered what sentence to impose.

Palmer was given a 20-month sentence, suspended for two years.

He was ordered to do 240 hours of unpaid work and to complete 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Palmer was also given an indefinite restraining order banning him from contacting the victim.

Judge Mairs told him: "You are not a stupid man. You are degree educated and you knew what you were doing.

"This was manipulation and psychological abuse."

"This was all about cowardly control and intimidation to make her life a misery - and you did.

"This has, from start to finish, been all about you.

"If you breach this restraining order I will send you back to Armley (prison) for as long as I can.

"Remember well, the last five days you have had there".