Ex-policeman from Cheadle Stockport jailed for breaking restraining order and stalking ex-girlfriend

Basil Thomas, 50 (police mugshot pictured), flouted a restraining order that banned him from contacting Caroline Beaumont, 47, and instead followed her every move

A former policeman who stalked his ex-girlfriend by fitting her car with a tracking device so he could follow her to her mother’s grave has been jailed for three years. 

Basil Thomas, 50, flouted a restraining order that banned him from contacting Caroline Beaumont, 47, and instead followed her every move. 

Thomas, of Cheadle, Stockport, acquired a GPS locator through his work as a private detective and fitted it to her car so he could follow her to the supermarket, shopping centre and the park where her mother was buried. 

Cheshire Crown Court heard he even turned up at Mrs Beaumont’s terminally-ill mother’s home in a desperate bid to contact her daughter. 

The mother-of-one was left so scared she changed the locks, set up CCTV cameras and avoided getting home after dark. 

Her stalker was yesterday jailed for three years, a sentence his defence lawyer said would be ‘not very pleasant at all’ as an ex-policeman.  

Thomas was convicted of harassment and breaching a restraining order and was also banned from contacting Mrs Beaumont for life. 

The court was told Thomas was banned from contacting his ex-partner after bombarding her with messages, texts and gifts in a bid to rekindle their six-year romance. 

He was seen prowling around Mrs Beaumont’s back garden wearing a black mask, tampering with her CCTV cameras and sitting outside her home. 

The stalker fitted a tracker to her car so he could locate her wherever she went. It was eventually found under the boot of her car after she told police she suspected she was being followed. 

He went a step further by contacting the funeral directors employed to lay her mother to rest by using a false name.    

Pictured: Headteacher Caroline Beaumont, 47, a mother-of-one from Cheshire

Basil Thomas (pictured outside court at an earlier hearing) was yesterday jailed for three years, a sentence his defence lawyer said would be 'not very pleasant at all' as an ex-policeman

Basil Thomas (pictured outside court at a previous hearing right) was yesterday jailed for three years, for stalking Caroline Beaumont (pictured left), a sentence his defence lawyer said would be ‘not very pleasant at all’ as an ex-policeman

In a statement to police the victim who is headteacher at Park Royal community primary school in Macclesfield, Cheshire was so scared of her ex-boyfriend she would insist on getting home before dark.

She added: ‘My ex-partner’s behaviour is making me ill and making me and my family feel very scared, I’m constantly nervous and scared coming and going from my home, out driving or going shopping.

‘He has consistently ignored my request to leave me alone, my parents requests and also warnings from the police and his restraining order, he is completely ignoring the feelings and boundaries I deserve to have. 

‘I am unable to function properly as a head teacher, mum and to look after my parents.

‘I have done all I can to protect myself, had CCTV cameras installed, locks changed, burglar alarms, asking neighbours for support, letting work colleagues know about my movements. 

‘There were on going issues with my mother, but I was having to divert time to speak to the police rather than spending time with my mum.

‘He has completely disregarded the pain they are suffering as a family not responding to requests to not contact. 

‘The behaviour is escalating and frightening and I have been to see my GP several times with breathing difficulties and panic attacks which I have never had in the past.

‘I am scared in my own at home and feeling very vulnerable and am still having panic attacks in the house particularly at night time. 

‘I now aim to be home before dark which affects my role as a head teacher. 

‘I am consistently worrying when he would next appear and changing my route to the hospice since he was following me, I know understand my fears were rational.

‘It has distracted my attention from grieving from my mother and I find this all exhausting – I’m physically tired all the time.’

Thomas ran a private investigations firm after his career as a police officer. 

Cheshire Crown Court (pictured) heard he even turned up at Mrs Beaumont's terminally-ill mother's home in a desperate bid to contact her daughter

Cheshire Crown Court (pictured) heard he even turned up at Mrs Beaumont’s terminally-ill mother’s home in a desperate bid to contact her daughter

The court heard the pair started dating in 2012 but Thomas ended the relationship in a text to Mrs Beaumont on Christmas Day last year. 

He subsequently regretted dumping her by text and over a five-month period, bombarded her messages and texts pleading with her to take him back.

When the mother-of-one said no, Thomas would turn up at her house in Cheshire and on Valentines Day covered her car in confetti and love hearts and left a card, gifts and balloons on her doorstep.

Despite pleas by to leave her alone, he also turned up uninvited at the house of her terminally ill mother in a desperate bid to communicate with her. 

Pictured: Basil Thomas, 50

Pictured: Basil Thomas, 50

The victim was forced to change her phone number and email address. She twice asked police for advice but eventually formally reported Thomas after he continued to pester her.

In June, Thomas was banned from contacting Mrs Beaumont for two years but flouted the order and used the tracker to carry on following her.

Prosecutor Simon Duncan said: ‘There was an incident on July 19 in Sainsbury’s Macclesfield when she saw the defendant and he walked towards her in an aisle. 

‘She then came home from work at 8:30pm that evening, reviewed CCTV and from 13:11 onwards she saw the defendant in her back garden.

‘He was wearing a high-vis jacket and a black mask and climbed over the shed using ladders to the rear of the house. 

‘He wiped the cameras with a cloth moving them to the side, he removed his mask as he left and she was able to identify him, she found this very distressing.

‘Her mother died on the August 6 and she received an email from the funeral directors on August 13 which contained an email address used by the defendant. 

‘It was apparent he had been in contact with the funeral director. That was extremely upsetting for the complainant she was concerned about being followed and that sense of invasion.

‘It was in that respect that a police officer checked her car and she pieced together certain of the encounters. 

‘There was the Sainsbury’s encounter and another in Macclesfield town centre she was in her car and saw him walking towards her shaking his head in apparent disgust but he said nothing.

‘She stated she made various visits to the memorial park where her mother’s funeral was to take place and felt the defendant had been tracking her throughout. 

‘She also found out subsequently he had been to John Lewis and had been watching her – she actually knew nothing about that but was informed by the police about it. The tracking device recovered was fitted to the rear of the car.

‘The defendant was interviewed and said he had struggled emotionally since the break-up. 

‘He said he was devastated and felt his life had been shattered, he felt he was being punished for caring too much, he found it difficult being branded a criminal.

‘In relation to the tracker he was aware it had been found as he received an electronic message which showed it had been compromised. 

‘He suggested that he acquired that device in pursuit of his course of employment as a detective and he was going to use his former partner as a guinea pig. 

‘In interview he said it was there so he could avoid bumping into her. He mentioned the various encounters and said that they were chance encounters.

In mitigation defence barrister Steven McHugh said: ‘He will not receive much sympathy but we can envisage as an ex-police officer serving with distinction, his incarceration in the prison will not be very pleasant at all.

‘He had a distinguished career and this has affected his mental health – he has become more withdrawn and depressed.’

Sentencing the judge Miss Recorder Sarah Johnston said: ‘You have fitted a tracking device upon Caroline Beaumont’s vehicle which allowed you to monitor her movements and the fact these offences were being committed at the time that her mother was gravely ill is a seriously aggravating feature.

‘There has been very serious distress caused Caroline Beaumont had been made physically and emotionally ill by your behaviour which has affected every area of her life – most seriously you have undermined her sense of self.

‘I accept you are remorseful for the impact of your offending but as a police officer who served with distinction you will have had exposure to the harm that this sort of behaviour does cause.’

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