Stalker jumped out of bushes

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.

A Buxton man who stalked his ex-partner after they split up, and even jumped out of a bush at her home, has been jailed.

Roy Lacey had been in a relationship with Esther Hotchin for three months but things deteriorated in June, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard. On June 21, Ms Hotchin was at Lacey’s flat on Cross Street when he became argumentative and accused her of texting other people, prosecutor John Cooper said.

She went to leave the address, but Lacey locked the door and wouldn’t let her go and Ms Hotchin then started having a panic attack. Eventually, he moved out of the way and she went to leave the address and got into her car. But Lacey followed her and jumped in the driver’s seat, telling Ms Hotchin she had had too much alcohol to drive, even though she had only consumed half a can of cider. He then took a photo of Ms Hotchin in the car, wearing her nightie, Mr Cooper said.

Over the next few days, Lacey made an excessive number of phone calls both to Ms Hotchin’s work phone and to her mobile number. He also phoned her boss and lied about her having been caught drink-driving.

On June 25, he called her a number of times and even jumped out of a bush outside her home when she returned to her address.

He also sent her messages intimating suicide and photos of himself looking down from a bridge.

Lacey, 33, admitted harassment, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and using a vehicle without insurance.

Annis Rowlands, defending, said: “The relationship was short and intense.

“This all happened over a short period of time, four days. There were high emotions and issues between the parties. He acknowledges he has not covered himself in glory.

“He has had problems with his mental health.”

Lacey was jailed for 12 weeks.