'Besotted' postal worker banned from contacted former colleague

exeter crown court building

Proctor appeared before Exeter Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A ‘besotted’ postal worker has been banned from contacting a former colleague who he bombarded with messages after she rejected his advances.

Michael Proctor became obsessed with the female driver who started working at the same depot in 2018 and gave her a £100 cash gift and a card as she sat in her cab.

She found him sitting in her lorry soon afterwards and he followed up with messages to both her and her mother by phone and email.

The harassment got worse when woman moved away to take up a promotion at a depot in Surrey and he sent messages threatening to kill himself, which he backed up with a suicide attempt.

The stalking caused the woman sleepless nights and weeks of anxiety, Exeter Crown Court heard.

She wrote a victim statement saying she found the messages deeply troubling and upsetting.

She said: "I felt unsafe and imprisoned by the situation. I was alarmed and felt degraded. I found it hard to relax or enjoy anything. My quality of life changed and I lost my freedom."

Most Read

Proctor, of Tower Way, Dunkeswell, admitted harassment and was ordered to do 25 days of rehabilitation activities under a 12-month community order by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court.

The 40-year-old was also handed a 10-year restraining order, banning any further contact with the victim.

Judge Johnson told Proctor: "For some reason, when she joined the depot, you became besotted with her. She made it clear she only wanted a professional relationship and nothing more.

"You caused her serious alarm and distress. She was overwhelmed, scared and intimidated."

The judge said he took into account a psychologist’s report which said Proctor had autistic traits. References from neighbours also spoke highly of Proctor’s voluntary work in his home village.

Nigel Wraith, prosecuting, said the female driver joined the depot in June 2018 and first became alarmed when Proctor gave her a card and a small box which he claimed to have dug up on his land and which contained £100.

She returned the money and made clear she was not interested in a relationship but he continued to show an interest in her even after she secured a promotion and moved away two years later.

He sent her a bouquet of flowers and a letter declaring his love for her. He sent texts and online messages in which he threatened to take his own life, including one saying he was going to hang himself.

He also went to Surrey but did not meet her and continued to contact her after she blocked him by finding her mother’s email address and messaging her.

Mary McCarthy, defending, said Proctor had never been in trouble before, is respected for his work in his local community, and that his behaviour was explained by his traits of autism.