A man has been convicted of harassment after repeatedly visiting the petrol station where the victim worked and staring at her the through the window.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard that Ian Essom, aged 40, of Ludlow Close, Northampton, made recurring visits to the 21-year-old victim in April this year.

While working late shifts at a petrol station, the victim noticed Essom looking at her through the window. Eventually, on one occasion when she pressed the panic alarm, the police arrived and arrested Essom who was later charged with stalking offences.

On Thursday, August 23, Essom, who had denied the offences, was found guilty of harassment at court and sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

He was also issued a two-year restraining order and must pay £2,500 in compensation.

Detective sergeant Terry Rush, from the Domestic Abuse Prevention and Investigation Team, said: “Stalking and harassment are serious offences and something that has a huge impact on people’s lives. Essom frightened the victim so much she had to leave her job at the petrol station and became isolated in her own home. She became paranoid and would be in constant fear of where he would be at any given time.

“Northamptonshire Police takes offences of this nature very seriously and we work alongside our partners to protect people. Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home or workplace and we will always pursue stalkers in order to bring them to justice and to return quality of life back to the victims.”