Man jailed for online vendetta

Peterborough Crown Court.
Peterborough Crown Court.

A man who carried out an online vendetta of abuse against a former family friend has been jailed for six months.

Mark Taylor (52) of Princes Road, Peterborough posted a number of posts on Facebook about the former friend - despite having already had a jail term for harassment against the woman a few months before.

The previous three month jail sentence had been imposed in 2014 alongside a restraining order banning Taylor from posting about the woman, and anything about the case - but over a nine month period between 2015 and 2016 he posted 14 times, including using offensive language and insults.

On Friday he appeared at Peterborough Crown Court after pleading guilty to one count of harassment - breaching a restraining order.

Judge David Farrell, sentencing, told Taylor: “The restraining order was put in place after a campaign of harassment over a period of some time - a couple of years or more. This resulted in you receiving a short custodial sentence and a restraining order.

“What you did upon your release is you have let it take over your life.

“You said you had unfinished grievances and carried out an ongoing vendetta with a series of posts over nine or ten months.”

Judge Farrell said he was sure the posts would have caused significant psychological harm to Taylor’s victim.

David Smithet, defending Taylor, told the court: “He has shown remorse for his behaviour, and through me wants to express his apologies to his victim. It is an unconditional apology.

“He has now thought about the whole situation, and understands what he did was wrong.”

But before Taylor was sent down to the cells, Judge Farrell said the restraining order would remain in place after he was released from prison.

He added: “This was a campaign and vendetta against the family, and it would not be justice if I did not impose an immediate custodial sentence.

“You made their life a misery over a significant period of time. You have to learn it has to stop. I hope this will teach you that you cannot do this.”

He warned Taylor sentences would get longer if he continued to offend.

Taylor waved to supporters in the public gallery as he was led away to start his sentence.