A stalker who left his ex-partner terrified after bombarding her with phone calls in the early hours of the morning has been jailed.
Jamie McGow made numerous calls to the distressed woman and posted content about her on TikTok before threatening to post intimate pictures of her online. The 24-year-old even bragged that the police couldn’t touch him during his offending, which took place between February and March, this year.
McGow appeared at Durham Crown Court on Thursday, via link from HMP Durham, to be sentenced for stalking. He had pleaded guilty to the charge at a previous hearing. The court was told he was on bail at the time of the offenses and was banned from contacting the woman.
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Barry Robson, prosecuting, said that in March, McGow made numerous phone calls to his ex-partner in the early hours of the morning from a private number. The woman, who was waiting for a medical call, believed the calls were being made by McGow, and whenever she answered, the caller “remained silent”. Mr Robson said the woman was “petrified that the defendant knew where she was”, but the calls continued, with the woman believing McGow was “intending to intimidate” her.
He said: “She sent a text to the number, asking the defendant to stop and he sent a text back pretending he was messaging someone called Lee. She sent a number of messages to him but he continued to pretend it was Lee. She received a further 10 calls from the same number while the texting was going on. She then blocked the number.”
The court heard that the woman was later contacted by another ex-partner of McGow, who told her that McGow was posting on TikTok and “slandering her”, claiming she was on drugs. Mr Robson said: “The defendant also claimed the police could not touch him and threatened to upload pictures of a sexual nature. The complainant was scared he would find her and seriously hurt her.”
The court was told that McGow also made calls to a nurse and a social worker in an attempt to find out information about his ex-partner and where she was. He was then arrested on March 11, where he denied the offending and claimed he didn’t even have a phone. However, it was later found and his TikTok messages were discovered.
In a victim statement, the woman said McGow seemed to enjoy making her feel scared and subjected her to “daily torment” which resulted in her taking medication for PTSD. She said: “He made me feel like a prisoner in my own home and told me he was going to kill me. He enjoyed instilling fear in me.” The woman added that she received a call from someone stating she would be “shot” when she left her home and branded McGow a “narcissistic, selfish bully”.
The court heard McGow, of Petersham Road, Sunderland, had five previous convictions for 10 offences, and received a suspended sentence in 2018 for harassment and breach of a restraining order.
Ian West, defending, said the offense was committed over a “very short period of time” and said there was “no threat of violence against the complainant”. He said: “He is a young man who has his own mental health issues and has been diagnosed by a GP as having bipolar affective disorder and ADHD, which does go some way to explain why he behaved in the way he did. He just doesn’t ‘t think things through before he acts.”
Judge Ray Singh said McGow has an “inflated ego” and caused “very serious distress” to his ex-partner. He added he has a “history of violence towards female partners”. The judge jailed McGow for 27 months and made him subject of a life-long restraining order.