A WOMAN from Oxfordshire was terrorised by an ‘obsessive’ stalker despite him having been arrested by police and released under investigation twice throughout her ordeal.

In sentencing David Russell at Oxford Crown Court yesterday Judge Peter Ross said that the 30-year old, of Silverless Street, Marlborough, had subjected his victim to ‘psychological torture’.

Russell tried to change the locks at her house, posted photos through her letterbox and bombarded her with phone calls.

The judge said he ‘cannot comprehend’ the decision to release him twice under investigation after the offences were reported, a decision which prosecutors blamed on the Crown Prosecution Service.

Detailing the multiple acts of stalking and harassment over three weeks late last year, prosecutor Michael Williams said that Russell had been in a relationship with his victim between October 2017 and March last year.

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After they broke up, he told the court, Russell began numerous acts of harassment and stalking at her Oxfordshire home and Wantage place of work.

In the first incident Russell arranged for a locksmith to come to her home, believing that she would be out.

The plan to change the locks was foiled, however, as the woman had stayed at home that morning.

Russell was arrested for that incident but released under investigation and the victim went on to install CCTV cameras at her home.

Not long after he was spotted dropping a parcel at her home.

Inside was a number of items including a photograph of her as a teenager, gin and tonic, chocolate and a CD by musician Tom Odell.

Cameras later picked up his movements returning to her home after she had gone to work that morning.

The next day he posted a letter at her address and that night he bombarded her with about 50 phone calls, in one he said he would ‘get’ her.

He was again arrested and released under investigation and just days later he sent her messages about her social media use and again showed at her home.

On that occasion she noted the car he was driving and colleagues at her work later said they had seen that car outside her workplace.

In mitigation at the hearing his defence barrister Russell Fraser said that his client had wanted to ‘rekindle’ the brief romance he had once had with his victim and the offending was ‘not prolonged in the context of this type of offending.’

He added that Russell’s decision making during the time had been ‘influenced by his use of cocaine’.

Sentencing, Judge Peter Ross said that Russell had inflicted ‘psychological torture’ which had left her terrorised and afraid.

Russell was jailed for three years - 18 months for stalking and breaching a restraining order and 18 months for a previously imposed suspended sentence activated.