A former Bridlington pub manager with a ‘Jekyll and Hyde character’ has been jailed for systematically abusing two ex-girlfriends using Facebook.
Craig Smart, 38, mentally abused and threatened two Bridlington women in a series of frightening and humiliating incidents.
He hijacked one woman’s Facebook account, posting fictional profiles and threatened to kill her.
When his second girlfriend, a medical secretary, dumped him, he wrote to Social Services alleging a sexual offence, and wrote to her hospital boss saying she had laughed at a man with erectile problems breaching patient confidentiality.
To top it all, he dramatically doused himself in white spirit, tied himself to a tree and called 999. When police arrived he made a statement trying to implicate his second ex-girlfriend in his false kidnap. He was only caught when the police found a receipt for cable ties. They visited the shop and found CCTV showing Smart buying the white spirit four hours before.
Smart, the former manager of the Bull and Sun pub in Bridlington, became controlling and obsessive after former partners split from him, Hull Crown Court heard on Tuesday February 25.
Smart, now of Doncaster Road, Selby, was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to three charges of threatening to damage property, two charges of threatening to kill and one charge of perverting the course of justice.
Crown barrister Mark McKone said Smart was in a relationship with with his first girlfriend for six months. They both worked at the Bridlington pub until they separated in January 2013.
In a victim impact report, his first victim said she had gone from being a confident person, who liked to socialise, to constantly worrying when the next message would arrive. She had nightmares and stopped going out. Her mother said she had been emotionally, psychologically and financially affected. It has affected her social life and impacted on her holidays.
Smart met his second victim in April 2013. The relationship lasted a few months, but Smart turned nasty from August 31 to September 17 2013
He was on bail for previous threats when on October 3 2013 he tied himself to a tree near Brayton Church off the A19 outside Selby around 8pm. He doused himself with white spirit. After he dialed 999, he claimed his trouser leg had been set alight by one of three men to stop him reporting claims about his ex-girlfriend breaching NHS confidences.
Defending barrister Alex Manary said: “Mr Smart suffers from erratic and impulsive behaviour, which stems from his father dying when he was 14.
“He has problems when relationships break-down. He is a man who has made one bad decision and then compounded it by another and then another.
“He has references which show a different man raising money for the RNLI and other charities by sky diving which are in stark contrast to the text messages he sent.”
Sentencing, Recorder Rachim Singh told Smart that given the chance to go straight after already being arrested, he had continued his behaviour with a second girlfriend when the warning “should have driven a nail in your brain”.
“These were premeditated offences,” said Recorder Singh.
“They were deliberately carried out to cause damage and pain. You hijacked one girl’s name sending out false statements to her friends and parents. You have also made the lives of the family hell. Your offences are so serious only a custodial sentence can be justified.”
He jailed Smart for two years and imposed a five-year restraining order against a total of seven women and men involved in the case.
He is not to go with 200m of Marton Road, Bridlington. He is also banned from entering Cayton, Seamer and North Frodingham.
INCIDENTS INFLICTED ON THE FIRST VICTIM:
· Inventing three Facebook profiles to send false messages to her mother, father and grandmother as if they were from her, and sending them text messages saying rocks would be thrown at her windows.
· On April 2 2013 a Facebook message was sent to her threatening to “slice her face open” and “get her mum.”
· On April 3 2013 a Facebook message saying: “It is a shame your face won’t stay like your photo.”
· A message to her father saying four bricks would be found in his front garden. “Next time they will be through your window.”
· Message to her: “Do you want to be the reason for the damage to your family? Your gran lives alone. Ha..Ha..Ha.”
· March 22 2013 threatening text message to a friend of her: “Jess just can’t keep quiet. Now her windows will go through tonight…”
· Threatening texts to her friends and family saying his ex-girlfriend was dead.
· Threatening texts: “We know where she is. No more messages now. We will wait for her. We will hurt her for life. She has a choice. She can stop all this or she can have the s**t. Stop now or we will get her.”
INCIDENTS INFLICTED ON THE SECOND VICTIM:
· Sending text messages to his ex-girlfriend and her ex-boyfriend using anonymous mobile telephone numbers.
· Reported her to Social Services making an untrue and fabricated false claim she had sex in front of a child.
· Wrote to the NHS hospital where she worked as a medical secretary claiming he had split up with her because he could no long tolerate her breaching client confidences.
· Claimed she disclosed information about a man with a permanent erection, that she·had breached the Data Protection Act by disclosing information about a woman who had post-natal problems, and by disclosing a man who claimed to be suffering from depression was actually a benefit fraudster.
· It caused an NHS investigation where she was found to be innocent.
· He told her ex-boyfriend he was getting him investigated for benefit fraud.