A businesswoman was hounded with unwanted gifts and explicit texts from a man she had never met after her details were left on a dating site and shared in a pub.
Hayley Taylor, 46, was bombarded with presents including a drone and a mermaid statue after Darren Burrows was given her mobile number by a man in his local pub.
Over a three-month period, the divorced father-of-one, 52, refused to give his full name to Miss Taylor and initially referred to himself as ‘Batman’.
The steel worker also managed to obtain her work address and began sending gifts to her workplace.
The victim, who runs a business in Greater Manchester, eventually blocked Burrows’ number after he sent her explicit pictures of his private parts.
Hayley Taylor (pictured) was bombarded with gifts including a drone and a mermaid after steel worker Darren Burrows was given her mobile number by a man in his local pub
She finally called police after he sent a text from another phone reading: Get f***ed in your own f***ed up world! You’re a f***ed up, twisted, sl*t, cheap f**k, tramp!’
Burrows, from Tyldesley near Wigan, was later arrested and admitted pestering Miss Taylor. It is thought he never came face-to-face with his victim.
In a statement, Miss Taylor said: ‘I have found this to be very intimidating and it has caused me much upset.
‘The stalking and harassment has made me ill and I now suffer with anxiety from the constant unwanted contact. He knows about my life and I don’t know how.
‘I find him very creepy how he found my mobile phone number and I feel like he could be following me and I’d never know he was there.
‘He is mentally unstable, in my opinion. He makes me feel scared and I always wonder what he will do next.’
At Manchester Magistrates’ Court, Burrows admitted harassment and was banned from contacting Miss Taylor indefinitely under the terms of a restraining order.
He was ordered to pay her £280 in compensation. He had a previous similar harassment conviction from 2012.
At Manchester Magistrates’ Court, Burrows (pictured) admitted harassment and was banned from contacting Miss Taylor
The incidents began in August last year after Miss Taylor received a mysterious text from an unknown number.
Prosecutor Andrew Martin said: ‘The victim asked who was the sender and he called himself “Batman” and told her he got her number from a friend of his.
‘His texts became prolific and rambling. They had been chatting for two weeks when he sent her pictures of himself, but she tells him she does not recognise him.
‘Days later the defendant sent a picture of his bare bottom and penis to the victim. She blocked him immediately and said she finds it disgusting.
‘Over that period he sent her a bunch of flowers and two boxes of gifts to her work place, sent by text.
One box included a drone, a music CD, bubble bath, stapler and cat and dog treats. The other box included biscuits, gin and a chewing ball. He would send these to her work place.
After giving his statement to police, he continued to text the victim, the court heard.
A probation report on Burrow’s background read: ‘He tells me he got the victim’s number from an associate in the pub who passed him her number that he got from a dating agency site.
‘He was living in hope they would meet up. He tells me it was his stupidity for him to carry on this type of behaviour.
‘At the time he didn’t consider the effect on the victim; looking back he can see the impact it must have had on her and how upsetting it must have been for her.
Miss Taylor (pictured), who runs a business in Greater Manchester, blocked Burrows’ number after he started sending her explicit pictures of his private parts
‘This is not the first time he has been before the courts for this type of matter. He had a probation order in 2012 for a similar offence in similar circumstances
‘It’s my opinion he has a twisted view on relationships and women. When asked why he continued this behaviour, he said he was desperate. He is seeking help on matters to do with this in the form of a therapist.
‘He lives in rented accommodation and is self employed as a steel fabricator. He received an injury to his shoulder and now doesn’t work so much, there has been a financial impact due to this. There was also a hamstring injury, but he is fit to work.
‘He is currently single, he was previously married and had a daughter in that marriage. He has a good relationship with his ex partner. He wants to lose weight to build his self confidence and self esteem.’
The incidents began in August last year after Miss Taylor (pictured) received a mysterious text from an unknown number
In mitigation, defence lawyer Matthew Wallace said: ‘He did contact her, it was positively received at first, the first response wasn’t negative.
‘He describes himself as living in a fantasy at the time and thinking something was going on when it wasn’t.
‘There was a discussion about meeting up, but he decided against this and says the complainant became disinterested. He was trying to keep up the momentum.
‘He felt the contact might result in meeting, then perhaps romance. He didn’t appreciate the harm he was causing.
‘He said there is a valve in his head which doesn’t appreciate reality from fantasy and he is trying to address this by seeking help.’
Burrows was sentenced to 16 weeks jail suspended for a year and was also ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work. He was further told to pay £85 costs.
Judge Mark Hadfield said: ‘You continued to contact the victim in this case, and your conduct became more abusive.
‘Unfortunately for her, she began receiving messages and phone calls at her work place. She didn’t know who you were or how you found where she worked.
‘The situation is aggravated by the virtue of your previous conviction of a similar matter. This case cases me great concern.’