Former journalist Robert Sutcliffe appears in court on harassment charges

Robert Sutcliffe journalist
Robert Sutcliffe arrives at court. Credit: MEN Media

A former journalist has been told he could face a prison sentence for harassing four victims.

Robert Sutcliffe, 58, appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court on Wednesday after admitting five charges of harassment without violence.

Sutcliffe, of Edgerton Road in Huddersfield, was due to be sentenced in November last year, but the case was moved to Leeds Magistrates' Court, where he appeared on Wednesday.

He spoke to confirm his date of birth and address before the case was again adjourned, until 20 March.

Sutcliffe, a former Bradford Telegraph and Argus and Yorkshire Post reporter, left his most recent job for the Reach website Yorkshire Live last year after being suspended.

Court documents show the charges relate to four different victims. The first offence relates to unwanted messages and posts on social media causing the victim to feel harassed, alarmed and distressed.

Robert Sutcliffe will be sentenced in March. Credit: MEN Media

The second offence, against the same victim, relates solely to social media posts.

The indictment for the fifth offence states that Sutcliffe sent numerous unwanted messages as well as uploading social media posts about the victim, causing her to feel harassed, alarmed and distressed.

District Judge Hollins told him on Wednesday that the case would be adjourned to allow her to familiarise herself with the background.

She said: "Clearly imprisonment is very much a possibility in this case. Two of the matters fall to be in category A1 - and towards the top in relation to [a victim.]

"In these circumstances it does need to be dealt with carefully."

The judge said the prosecution had not had the opportunity to assess the "lengthy victim impact statements".

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.