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Stalker sent victims cornflour in the post and 'poison' messages, court hears

PUBLISHED: 16:18 16 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:36 16 August 2019

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A 51-year-old stalker sent cornflour to her victims in the post during a nine-month campaign, a court heard.

Jackie Harmer sent a stream of distressing online messages to a couple and even contacted their family and employers with false and distressing allegations, Norwich Crown Court heard on Friday.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said some of the stalking was done using fake Facebook profiles, and the court heard she gave the couple the impression she was watching them.

He said in one message she said: "You were home later than usual on Friday. I got cold sitting there waiting."

She also told them she was "enjoying" what she was doing and was not going to stop anytime soon.

He said the campaign of harassment culminated with her sparking an alert by pretending she had been sent a letter containing a white substance, which in fact was cornflour, and she also sent a letter containing cornflour to the couple in June, last year.

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Mr Crimp said as a result of the false claim police had to call out the fire service as a precaution.

He said when police investigated they found it was Harmer behind the scare and in interview she admitted the cornflour could have been mistaken for a dangerous substance but things had got "out of hand".

In an impact statement, one of the victims said Harmer's stalking left her with panic attacks and said: "I had no way of knowing who this person was."

Harmer, of Acle Road, Moulton St Mary, admitted two counts of stalking between October 2017 and July 2018 and one of perverting the course of justice by providing false statements to police, and a false complaint of receiving a noxious substance.

Judge David Goodin jailed Harmer for two years suspended for two years and banned her from contacting the couple in future.

He told her she was an unlikely candidate to come before the courts, having never been convicted of an offence, but said she had sent "poison pen" messages to the couple.

He said: "I have no doubt in the cold light of day it has dawned on you what a vicious thing you have done."

Andrew Thompson, for Harmer, said she was a vulnerable and isolated person with difficulties.

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