A Lancashire Police IT worker has been given a two-year restraining order for harassing a fellow employee.
Colin Fitzsimons, 52, of Stratfield Place, Leyland, sat solemnly as Chorley Magistrates’ Court heard how he and Jane Hollowell had known each other for 16 years as staff members at Lancashire Constabulary.
During that time, their working relationship became intimate but last year Ms Hollowell, of Hoghton, had wanted the relationship to end.
However, she continued to receive a string of text messages and emails from the defendant.
Elliott Taylforth, prosecuting, said: “Ms Hollowell said that the defendant became obsessed and found it difficult to come to terms with the end of the relationship.
“The language used in the text messages caused concern and even scared her.
“It was escalated and he was given informal warnings about his behaviour from his line manager .
“The text messages continued and even Ms Hollowell sent a text message to stop texting her.”
In a statement, Ms Hollowell said that the messages were “causing stress” and she had been forced to double her medication.
Mr Taylforth claimed that Ms Hollowell did not “feel safe being out of the house and she would sleep in a different bedroom just in case he would come to her house and upset her children.”
The victim also said she would take different bus routes to her job in IT at Blackpool in case Mr Fitzsimons followed her.
Mr Fitzsimons, a senior systems engineer at police headquarters in Hutton, was charged with harassment without violence in relation to Jane Hollowell.
Mr Fitzsimons had pleaded not guilty to the charge in January this year, but accepted the restraining order, which will last until March 2015 and which will mean he has no contact in any way with Ms Hollowell and cannot visit her home.
Lisi Ke, defending Mr Fitzsimons, said her client had received some text messages showing concern, asking if he was okay.
In summing up the court heard how her client was a “respectable man who works in IT and wanted to move on from this disappointing situation and continue to serve the public.”
Lancashire Constabulary refused to comment on the case.