A spurned office worker who urinated in a colleague’s drinking water after she rejected his advances has been jailed for 18 weeks.
Marc Wroe, 44, of Lostock View, Lostock Hall, launched a seven-year campaign of harassment against the woman he fancied and was caught out relieving himself in a bottle of sparkling water his victim kept at her desk.
He admitted a charge of harassment without violence in a hearing at Preston Magistrates’ Court, after telling police it was “in revenge” for his affections being rejected.
District Judge Jane Goodwin, sitting at Preston Magistrates Court, told him: “You have left her living her life on pins.
“This was extremely serious behaviour continuing over a seven-year period. Although our behaviour wasn’t constant I do bear in mind this was behaviour in a work place.
“You accept there were sexual connotations and I’m sure that sexual behaviour can also be seen from the behaviour you displayed. You ignored warnings not only from your victim but from your employer twice. It appears to me you were fixated with the complainant.”
In 2007, the victim, who works at distribution company Tom Parker Ltd on Marsh Lane, Preston, started receiving emails from Wroe, who had worked there since 2001.
The emails became more and more frequent and although she had initially replied, she asked him to stop sending her so many messages.
As a catalogue of disturbing incidents unfolded she:
*found soiled ladies underwear put through her letterbox
*received saucy lingerie catalogues and samples addressed to her
*had Valentine’s cards to her partner posted to her home
*was disturbed late at night while she was alone with her little girl and her partner was away on business when Wroe turned up unannounced
*received “apology” flowers
*was stared at from a top window as she got into her car when leaving work.
His victim, a married mum-of-one who the Evening Post has chosen not to name, sat in the public gallery for the proceedings yesterday, and was supported by her friend.
Wroe, wearing a suit and tie, stared at the ground throughout the hearing. When sentence was passed, the victim began to cry.
After the case, she said: “I’m pleased with his sentence. It’s been going on a long time.”
Wroe had tried to submit a basis of plea that he was not responsible for some of the incidents, but always admitted urinating in the victim’s water.
District Judge Goodwin heard between July 2007 and April this year, he pursued a course of harassment.
Prosecuting, Alex Mann said the harassment had culminated in the victim opening a bottle of water at work and noticing a “foul smell”.
She added: “She asked for cameras to be installed to catch whoever was tampering with her water and they showed him leaving and returning to her work station with the water.”
He had done it on at least three occasions, the court heard.
Defending, Greg Earnshaw said Wroe had already suffered because he had lost his job and his employability, although he had latterly been working in a pizza factory.
The court also imposed a three-year restraining order banning him from contacting the victim, going into the road where she lives and going near her workplace.