Stalker banned from town for sending teen a barrage of sexual images, text and letters (From Herald Series)
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Stalker banned from town for sending teen a barrage of sexual images, text and letters
A STALKER pursued a 15-year-old girl on Facebook and bombarded her with texts, letters and obscene messages.
Unemployed Hungarian national Roland Der has been banned from Abingdon for two years after he admitted harassing the girl for four months.
And his case comes as new figures released to the Oxford Mail reveal that 232 offences relating to social media – most of them harassment on Facebook – have occurred in Oxfordshire since 2011.
Der, of Swinburne Road, Abingdon, was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years at Oxford Crown Court for stalking the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The 21-year-old bombarded the girl with letters, texts, images of a sexual nature, silent phone calls and Facebook messages between November 25, 2012, and March 28 this year.
Der, who moved to England with his family in July 2012, also sent her wedding rings to a friend’s address and followed the girl in the street in Abingdon.
On one occasion, the victim said Der was commited an indecent act when he rang her up.
Hugh Williams, prosecuting, said the harassment started when Der threw an incomprehensible letter to her in Abingdon town centre before she began to receive text messages and calls.
It was not made clear in court how he got her phone number.
The prosecutor said: “She was bombarded with texts asking to be his girlfriend and to marry her.
“They were arriving each day and they were numerous.”
In February, the girl started to receive messages from Der on Facebook from a pseudonym, Roland Evans, asking her to meet up.
Messages were also sent to her sister’s and friend’s Facebook accounts.
Mr Williams said “nasty” messages were then sent including: “Hope your mother and father dies.”
Timothy Boswell, defending, said: “It remains the case that Mr Der didn’t physically assault any of these people in any way.”
Sentencing, Judge Gordon Risius said: “You must understand that if you continue to behave in the same way you will undoubtedly be going to prison.”
Der was also given a restraining order against the girl and her friends for five years and was ordered to pay a victims’ surcharge of £100.
The case is part of a pattern of online harassment that can be revealed today.
In 2011, 100 crimes relating to social media were reported across the county, the vast majority regarding harassment offences on Facebook.
Last year, there were 73 reported crimes on social media in Oxfordshire – with 66 on Facebook, four on YouTube and three on Twitter.
Despite the reduction in crimes reported, there was an increase in the numbers charged – from six to nine.
From January to September 19 this year, 15 people have been charged from 59 crimes reported.
Oxford University student and editor of student paper Cherwell Anna Leszkiewicz had a hoax bomb threat made against her on August 1.
She said it was difficult for the police to monitor all the comments made on social media sites.
“I think the police have been faced with a very difficult challenge in that this type of stuff has grown so much,” she said.
“For example, Twitter has grown so fast and there are so many cases that it’s difficult to tackle.
“But the figures suggest Thames Valley Police seem to be making progress, which is great.”
Schools in the county said they are taking extra efforts to educate pupils on the potential perils of social media.
Cheney School spokeswoman Jessica Cotton said: “We certainly haven’t had any students getting in trouble for misbehaving online.
“But we are trying to educate them more about social media.
“If they write something online, they need to know there can be legalities surrounding them.”
She added: “The online world is a wonderful place for young people to explore, but there are risks and dangers students should be aware of and which we should all act to protect them from.”
Thames Valley Police would not comment on the figures or the issue of social media-related crime and complaints yesterday.