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Police force stalker who left dead animals on victim’s gate is locked up

A police worker who began a 'vicious and persistent' campaign against an ex colleague - including having a dead rabbit tied to the gate of her home - has been jailed for stalking.

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Steven Marsh, of The Oval, Stafford, also put a dead bird, rats and offal outside the gate of his victim's family home in Walsall, ordered takeaways to be sent there and sent letters from a remote address accusing her husband of having an affair.

Marsh had already pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at Stafford Crown Court and has now been jailed for 40 months, with Judge John Gosling giving him credit for the plea.

The court heard how Marsh became friendly with his female colleague when they both worked together at Staffordshire Police.

Marsh then began to send letters from a Preston postcode to her husband, accusing him of having an affair. In a period of three months he also arranged for an acquaintance to hang a dead bird on the gates of the family home left three dead rats outside and a piece of offal brought from a butchers. He had earlier denied an allegation of tacks being left outside the house.

The prosecution said the actions caused the victim and her family 'untold' trauma and distress as they tried to come to terms with the actions and to work out who was behind them. They had considered selling the home and had already increased lighting around the house because they were worried about incidents late at night.

A victim impact statement heard how his victim had trusted Marsh as a colleague and had defended him against accusations of poor work. She felt violated and threatened by his actions.

Martin Bloor, defending, said the actions were out of character for Marsh who was of previous good character and was a highly intelligent man who had worked in responsible jobs and had an unblemished record.

Marsh is married with two children and his actions had also caused serious issues for them, said Mr Bloor.

Judge Jonathan Gosling said: "I reject the defence's suggestion these actions were a deliberate case to get her attention, rather it was the action of someone whose repeated attention had been rebuffed and was a persistent, repeated campaign."

Marsh was also given a restraining order against the woman of 15 years and ordered to pay a statutory surcharge of £400.

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