Man who made ‘sickening’ threats of violence to ex-girlfriend then stalked her avoids jail

A man made “sickening” threats of violence towards his ex-girlfriend and then stalked her for months after they separated.

Jacob McHale (25) left several threatening messages on the victim’s answerphone in August of last year, shortly after he and the victim had separated.

Crown court news

Crown court news

Over a two-day period, McHale stated he would batter the victim with a hammer, kill her and burn her hair off. He also created several fake social media accounts to message the victim, asking if she had a boyfriend.

McHale also sent a number of threatening messages to the victim’s mother and sister, in an effort to intimidate and frighten the victim.

Months later in December, McHale turned up at the victim’s home in Cambridge unannounced and shouted abuse through the letterbox as the she sat with their son. He then banged on her living-room window and shouted, “I’ll see you around somewhere”.

A month later the victim was walking home from a nearby shop when she heard McHale shouting at her from behind. Frightened, she sped up and returned home, quickly closing the front door behind her.

He banged on the door, demanding to see his son, before making threats through the letterbox. The victim’s mother called police and McHale left but was arrested the following day.

He later admitted charges of stalking and sending offensive communications and was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, today (Wednesday) at Cambridge Crown Court. He was also handed 160 hours unpaid work, a rehabilitation activity requirement, a curfew and a restraining order lasting five years.

McHale, of no fixed abode but from the Cambridge area, also admitted to a charge of theft after he stole a selection of power tools from a construction site in Mill Road, Cambridge, in March this year. McHale had previously worked as a labourer on the site but was sacked the day before the theft took place.

DC Michael Gray said: “The threats made by McHale were sickening and his behaviour was completely unacceptable. McHale understandably caused the victim and her family a great deal of distress.

“It took a lot of courage for the victim to report the abuse she suffered and I hope the sentence given to McHale will stop him from being able to abuse the victim and her family”.

Anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse is urged to contact police on 101 or call the national domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247. For more advice and support on domestic abuse, visit www.cambs.police.uk/domesticabuse.