A MAN has been spared jail after subjecting his ex-girlfriend to a campaign of "creepy" and upsetting stalking.

Neil Griffiths, of Broxton Road in Wrexham, appeared for sentence at Mold Crown Court on Thursday.

The 44-year-old had been found guilty after trial in the Magistrates Court of stalking involving serious alarm or distress.

Karl Scholz, prosecuting, told the court that the defendant and his victim - Phillipa Davies, had been in the same secondary school.

They met 20 years later in 2015 when she took on a temporary position at his place of work, JCB.

But a further seven years elapsed before Griffiths sent her a friend request out of the blue on Facebook in 2022.

They began a relationship in May of that year, but it didn't last long.

In August, she told him she wanted to end the relationship and asked him not to contact her.

In September, when she was going to a concert in Manchester, she left her home in the early hours of the morning and was walking to her vehicle when Griffiths appeared from behind a bush.

"I just wanted to say have a good day," he said.

"Why would you do that?" she asked him - "That's really creepy."

Ms Davies went to the concert and when at a local pub, she received a message from the defendant with a photo from the inside of the venue.

He then approached her three times at the pub, trying to engage in conversation with her - and even remarked: "You seem very uncomfortable."

His conduct also entailed sending her 29 emails in the space of a few weeks and overtaking her on the A483 before pulling in front of her and slowing down.

She had a CCTV camera installed at the front of her property and one night it captured Griffiths approaching her door twice at around 3.30am, then bending down at the side of her car.

Ms Davies believed he'd put a tracking device on the vehicle - something he later admitted during his trial.

The victim said Griffiths' behaviour has left her feeling vulnerable walking in her own street.


Chillingly, it was later discovered Griffiths had also been searching on the internet for acid, 'ways to take revenge' and how to tamper with a car.

John Wyn Williams, defending, told the court his client's searches had been for 'acid on car paint' - suggesting it hadn't been his intention to use any such material on her.

He said: "The relationship with Ms Davies only lasted three months, but at a time when he'd come out of a lengthy 16 year relationship with another woman.

"He was struggling with his emotional health and Ms Davies would give him some stability at the time.

"He has been over-reliant on her and found it difficult to accept the relationship was over."

Mr Wyn Williams conceded he couldn't advance his client's remorse - given his conviction after trial and the fact he shook his head through some of Mr Scholz's case.

But he did tell the court Griffiths has a "good work ethic" and although being off sick at the moment, has worked for JCB for some 19 years.

Judge Simon Mills told the defendant: "You should not be in a position where a Crown Court Judge has to say this to you - you're a grown man.

"But when a person wants to end a relationship they're in with someone, it's the duty of the other person to respect that.

"Every one of the things you did was wrong.

"It got to the point where you made internet searches about acid and revenge - what a ridiculous state of mind you got yourself into."

Judge Mills told the defendant he had come very close to going to prison, but handed down an 18 month custodial sentence suspended for two years.

An indefinite restraining order was put in place to protect Ms Davies, and the defendant must undertake up to 35 sessions on a 'building better relationships' programme, 15 rehabilitation activity days and a three month curfew.

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He must also pay a £187 victim surcharge.

"You must never go anywhere near that woman again," the Judge warned him.

"If you do, your feet won't touch the ground."