Stalker given 10 years for manslaughter of partner
A stalker whose campaign of threats and harassment drove his partner to commit suicide has been jailed for 10 years for her manslaughter.
In a highly unusual case, Nicholas Allen, 47, from Rugeley pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charge at Stafford Crown Court, accepting that his onslaught of threats and abuse led to Justene Reece’s death.
Allen, 47, a former soldier and mechanic, began a relationship with Ms Reece, a Laura Ashley shop assistant, in September 2015 after they met at a scooter enthusiasts’ event in the West Midlands.
Ms Reece set up home with Allen in Stafford in 2015, but within months the relationship changed and he became increasingly obsessive and controlling.
The following year, she left him to seek refuge in a women’s shelter at a secret location.
Allen then began tormenting her and her family, sending thousands of calls, texts and messages via Facebook and WhatsApp.
He went to their homes, threatened Ms Reece’s son and posted offensive photographs of her mother’s grave online.
After six months of persistent abuse and numerous calls to the police, Ms Reece took her own life on February 22.
She left a note explaining that she could not endure her stalker’s behaviour any longer.
Today at Stafford Crown Court, Allen was jailed for 10 years and handed an extra five years on license.
The court heard he had a history of similar offences, including convictions for harassment, assault and threats to kill.
Hannah Sidaway, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This was an exceptional case.
"Allen subjected Justene and those close to her to a sustained campaign of torment until she was unable to endure his behaviour any longer.
"There is no doubt he ultimately caused her to take her own life.
“This case illustrates the devastating effect that stalking can have on victims.
"It reaches into every aspect of their lives, causing acute distress and leaving them, and often their families, living in fear.
“Prosecutors receive special training in handling these cases and in this instance we sought to charge Allen with an offence which reflected the dreadful impact of his behaviour.”
Assistant Chief Constable Emma Barnett of Staffordshire Police, said: "We are pleased with today's conviction and the sentence handed to Nicholas Allen. This reflects the gravity of his offending and sends a strong message to perpetrators of this crime.
"Our thoughts remain with Justene's family at this difficult time. As a force we deeply regret Justene's death.
"We want to ensure we provide the best service to victims in the future and have referred this matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), who are independently investigating. These events are also subject to a Domestic Homicide Review.
"As is usual in matters such as this we will await the outcome of these enquiries before commenting further."
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