COUNTY NEWS: Ex-soldier sentenced over stalking

Clive Hamilton leaving court. Pic: Eddie Mitchell
Clive Hamilton leaving court. Pic: Eddie Mitchell

A former soldier, who told his victim he was a trainee James Bond spying on Iran, was given a prison sentence after admitting a three year stalking campaign against a woman he met in a pub.

On Friday magistrates gave Clive Hamilton, 31, from Bognor Regis, a two-year suspended sentence of ten weeks in prison after hearing he ignored repeated pleas to stop contacting his victim.

Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard the pair, who had met in a pub and played a few games of tennis, fell out and the stalking started in August 2014 – carrying on after the woman moved to Essex.

Evidence detailed how Hamilton had bombarded the woman, who he’d met in a bar, with text messages and set up numerous Facebook and Instagram accounts in order to keep contacting her after she told him the communication was unwanted.

When she moved to Australia, Hamilton tracked down her new place of work, contacted her again through her mother and then via email.

Hamilton, who told the woman he was involved in gathering intelligence on the Iranian nuclear programme and had travelled to Iraq to work undercover, also sent the woman a Christmas card and a cheque for £300 which she cashed.

The woman declined to take her complaint further after contacting police believing the messages would stop.

In a Victim Impact Statement, the woman said: “These messages have been sent to me over a long period of time.

“I always feel I’m looking over my shoulder. I feel he is unpredictable and I’m not sure what he will do next. He has fantasised a relationship which is not true.”

Hamilton, who said he accepted there had never been a relationship between him and the woman, said he was in love with the woman and felt grief when she was not responding and he thought she would calm down.

The court heard he had two previous convictions for harassment in 2012.

Sentencing, magistrate Sara Caton said: “It is so serious because of your previous convictions and also the sustained period of the stalking and your lack of understanding of the effect your offending had on your victim.”

The court also imposed an indefinite restraining order and Hamilton was ordered to take a 50-day rehabilitation course and pay £250 in costs and surcharge.

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