Teesside man drove 250 miles to harass ex-girlfriend after breakup

Graham Clayton launched a campaign of harassment against his former girlfriend, calling and texting her repeatedly before showing up at her house. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

An obsessive man from Teesside drove 250 miles and was caught peering into his ex's bedroom window after she ended their relationship.

Graham Clayton, 54, drove from Thornaby to London in the middle of the night after struggling with his break up in 2021.

Clayton, of Vulcan Way, met the woman in November 2020 and by the New Year the pair were in a relationship.

Prosecutor Kelly Clarke, said the relationship was "up and down" and after the break up Mr Clayton would repeatedly message and call the victim - in one day he made 31 calls and left 34 messages.She said: "When the complainant did not answer the defendant would go off in a rage. The complainant reiterated she did not want a relationship and wanted less contact with him."

Clayton continued to call and message the victim despite her asking him to stop and he threatened to travel to see her after she moved in with her brother in London.

In one incident, Clayton travelled through the night from Teesside to London in December 2021. She had seen him peering through the bedroom window and after being spotted he hid in the bushes.

He was told to leave but returned 15 minutes later with gifts and begging her to get back with him. He left again, this time sending her a message saying he had crashed his car and broken his arm. He continued to try and contact her the next day and said he was going to collect her to take her back to Teesside.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: "I have never experienced anything like this in my life and was unable to see the situation building until it broke me."

Clayton's barrister Rod Hunt, said as soon as the police became involved in the case Clayton complied with bail conditions. Mr Hunt said: "He was in love with the complainant and when the relationship came to an end he couldn't cope and he behaved like a baffled teenager rather than an adult."He said the defendant recognises the relationship is over and learned from his mistakes.Clayton pleaded guilty to harassment during trial and possession of a Class B drug - amphetamine - at an earlier hearing.

The defendant - who has 33 convictions for 63 offences - was handed a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to complete the building better relationships programme.

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