Lostock Hall woman jailed for four years after stalking former partner online

A woman from Lostock Hall has been jailed for harassing a former partner online - including making threats to kill.

Friday, 13th March 2020, 12:32 pm
Updated Friday, 13th March 2020, 12:40 pm
Joanna Moffat, 33, of Coote Lane, Lostock Hall, has been sentenced to 34 months in prison after a "campaign of hate and harassment" against her former partner. Pic: Lancashire Police

Joanna Moffat, 33, of Coote Lane, was sentenced to 34 months in prison at Preston Crown Court on Monday (March 9).

She admitted breaching a restraining order and later assaulting a custody officer after her arrest in September last year.

The court heard how Moffat's relentless "campaign of hate and harassment" against her former partner began in 2016.

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Over the next four years, the 33-year-old sent hundreds of threatening messages to her ex-partner on social media.

Targeting her victim online, Moffat even made fun of the death of her ex-partner's mother in one partiocually scornful tirade.

In August 2016, she was handed a five-year restraining order and jailed for six months after being convicted of harassment.

A year later, in September 2017, Moffat was again jailed for harassing the same former partner.

Despite being jailed for her actions, Moffat began abusing her ex-partner for a third time in June 2019 whilst on holiday in Majorca.

The abuse, from a number of fake Facebook profiles used to hide her identity, included threats to kill and messages making fun of the death of her former partner’s mother.

Her former partner reported the abuse to police and following an investigation, with support from UK Border Force and Interpol, Moffat was identified as a suspect and arrested in September.

The court heard that Moffat, whilst being held in custody, attacked a detention officer by pushing her over.

Moffat was charged and initially pleaded not guilty, but later admitted breaching a restraining order and was sentenced to 34 months in prison.

She has also been handed an indefinite restraining order against the victim and her family.

PC Paul Connell, of Lancashire Police, said: "We know the devastating impact this crime can have on victims in damaging their feelings of safety and self-confidence.

"Moffat’s campaign of hate and harassment including threatening messages and pouring scorn on the death of the victim’s mother.

"She tried to hide her identity by using fake social media profiles, but thanks to the actions of police, alongside Interpol and UK Border Force, she was quickly arrested.

"Her imprisonment sends a clear message this behaviour will not be tolerated in Lancashire and we will pursue those who target the vulnerable.

"In addition, each policing division has a dedicated stalking and harassment point of contact who is a specialist detective who reviews some cases and is available for advice if officers require it.

"I would urge anyone who is being affected by stalking to speak to a local officer, contact us on 101 or ring the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300. All reports will be taken seriously and dealt with robustly."