Stalker who “petrified” ex-girlfriend sentenced
- Credit: Archant
A man from Huntingdon has been sentenced after he stalked his ex-girlfriend.
An ex-boyfriend who "petrified" his former partner by stalking her and lied about being in a serious accident has been sentenced.
Daniel Cristea, 42, was in a relationship with the woman for five years before this broke down in October.
During the last few years of the relationship Cristea, of Othwaite, Huntingdon, became verbally abusive towards her.
The relationship ended with the woman moving out of the flat they shared.
Around one month later, on November 16, the woman left her flat just after 7am to walk to work as per her morning routine.
She walked to Huntingdon High Street but was greeted by Cristea, who had been waiting for her.
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Cristea began following her and asked her to stop and talk to him, but the woman declined. Due to traders setting up market stalls Cristea left the woman alone, who then continued to work and told a colleague what had happened.
Two days after this, on November 18, the woman received a phone call from Cristea pretending to be someone else.
He told her that Cristea had been involved in a "serious accident" in Manchester and was in a "bad condition."
The woman called Cristea's work shortly after where she discovered this had been a lie.
On 22 November the woman was followed by Cristea for the second time - on this occasion between 6pm and 8pm.
Cristea followed her through Huntingdon High Street again and made verbal threats in a bid to get her to talk to him.
The woman was so scared she sought shelter in a nearby shop, where Cristea followed her in but left soon after.
The victim waited inside the store until she was sure he had left the area before running the rest of her way home.
One week later, on November 30, the woman left her flat at around 7am and saw Cristea waiting for her once again.
He started following her so the woman ran down the high street towards her work. Cristea ran after her so the woman ran into the Costa coffee shop nearby. Members of the public asked the woman if she was OK, took care of her and called the police.
A man checked the area for Cristea and established he was waiting down an alleyway near the woman's work.
Almost 30 minutes later Cristea entered Costa and cornered the woman. Staff managed to intervene and Cristea left when the woman told him she was on the phone to police.
Witnesses describe the woman being left "visibly shaken" and "petrified" due to the incident.
When police arrived Cristea told officers she had been followed and harassed by Cristea for the last month or so after she had moved out of the flat they shared.
She also showed police several messages and emails from Cristea which she had not replied to.
In one email Cristea sent a photo to the woman which read "Forgive them, even if they are not sorry."
In a text message he apologised, saying he was "angry, jealous and crazy."
CCTV footage showed Cristea following the victim in Huntingdon High Street and near her home.
Cristea was arrested on suspicion of stalking. In police interview he told officers that he believed he was still in a relationship with the victim, despite the fact she had moved out and had blocked him in nearly every way possible.
He admitted waiting outside her house and workplace, and acknowledged he would be scared if this behaviour was aimed towards him.
Cristea also admitted sending texts and emails to his victim in a bid to get her to see him.
When asked about making the phone call to the victim pretending he had been in a serious accident, Cristea laughed before admitting he made the call "as a joke" and that it was "funny in the moment."
He said he did so to see if she still cared for him.
On December 3 at Peterborough Magistrates' Court, Cristea admitted stalking involving fear of violence.
Magistrates committed Cristea's case to Peterborough Crown Court for sentence and today ( February 14) he was handed a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
He was also handed a restraining order, to run indefinitely, preventing him from contacting his ex-girlfriend.
DC Marcus Johnson, who investigated, said: "Cristea's behaviour against his ex-girlfriend was completely unacceptable and his actions left her in genuine fear of her safety.
"I'd like to thank her for calling the police and having the courage to support a conviction. No-one should ever be treated in this way.
"I would strongly urge anyone who believes they are being stalked or harassed to get in touch with us."
Anyone who believes they are being stalked should call 101 or report online via https://www.cambs.police.uk/report/.
For more information and advice on stalking and harassment, visit https://www.cambs.police.uk/A-Z/Stalking-and-harassment