A RINGWOOD man took vengeance on a woman who ended their affair by posting a naked picture of his ex-lover on her husband’s Facebook page and sending her racist messages.
Adam Bruce (28) emotionally unravelled after she finished their relationship, partly because he believed he could have been the father of a baby the woman had terminated, Southampton Crown Court was told.
He angrily subjected his victim, who was from eastern Europe and in an open marriage, to a “tirade” of abuse, prosecutor Simon Foster said.
In messages, Bruce (pictured) called her a “Nazi” and “fake”, Mr Foster said. Bruce also told her “I hope you die of cancer” and urged her to return to her country.
Bruce, of East View Road, posted a naked picture of the woman to her husband’s Facebook wall and sent him intimate images of her in a private message detailing their affair.
Mr Foster described Bruce’s behaviour after the relationship finished as “patently weird”, and said his actions had a dramatic effect on the woman.
The prosecutor said: “She also said she feels ashamed and humiliated about her image being published.”
She wanted to leave her job and move, had undergone psychotherapy and suffered from insomnia, anxiety and a lack of confidence, he added.
Outlining the background, Mr Foster said the defendant and the victim met when they worked together at a local care home in late 2017.
They embarked on a relationship which broke down months later, the victim had told police, following an “embarrassing” incident in a Bournemouth nightclub while the pair were out together.
She subsequently went on holiday with her husband, the prosecutor continued. But while she was away Bruce targeted her car, throwing her “personal and intimate items” over it.
It was then he began sending what Mr Foster called a “tirade and barrage of messages” that were “abusive, racist and threatening in nature”.
Bruce was arrested in December last year, and in an interview with officers made “full and frank” admissions. He explained he fell in love with the victim and had his heart broken, Mr Foster said.
A man of previous good character, Bruce appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a charge of stalking, and another of disclosing a private sexual image of the victim without her consent with the intent of causing her distress.
Defending Bruce, Edward Warren said the defendant had got himself involved in a situation he was unable to cope with.
“He was invited into an open marriage and it appears he was emotionally ill-equipped to deal with the ramifications,” Mr Warren said.
In her victim statement the woman told police she terminated a pregnancy not knowing who the father was, Mr Warren pointed out.
“Mr Bruce was deeply concerned he may have been the father of that child and it caused him a great deal of emotional distress,” the defence barrister continued.
“He accepts he behaved completely unacceptably but it weighed heavily in his own mind that he may have been the father.”
Previously an outgoing individual, Bruce had become a recluse, Mr Warren said. He pleaded his client be spared an immediate spell in custody, arguing he could get help from probation with courses to improve his behaviour in any future relationships.
Judge Nicholas Rowland told Bruce: “You subjected this lady to a campaign of harassment that amounted to stalking.
“These were unpleasant offences. This was a complicated relationship between the three of you, no doubt it was. But that’s no excuse in the way you behaved – it was disgraceful.”
However, he said he “just about” sided with Mr Warren’s plea, giving Bruce a 12-month jail term that he suspended for two years.
He also imposed on Bruce an electronically tagged eight-month home curfew between 8pm and 8am, and ordered the defendant complete a 30-day rehabilitation probation course on stalking and its impact.
Finally Judge Rowland imposed a restraining order banning Bruce from contacting the victim indefinitely.