Man who posted sex toys through letterbox avoids jail for harassment

York Crown Court.

A jilted trucker posted sex toys through the letterbox of his former lover’s marital home after she ended their short-lived romance.

Philip Harvey Smith, 49, couldn’t accept the end of the affair and began a four-week harassment campaign against the victim, even turning up at her business.

Smith, from Leyburn, received a police caution in December last year, about a month after the married mother ended the affair, York Crown Court heard.

But this didn’t stop him bombarding her with text messages, said prosecutor Michael Cahill.

She pleaded with Smith to stop but he took no heed and resorted to posting sex toys through her letterbox.

After a brief lull, he began contacting her again after Christmas “saying he needed to speak with her”.

“She made it abundantly clear she did not wish to do so,” said Mr Cahill.

Just after New Year, the victim was in the Golden Lion pub in Leyburn with family when Smith turned up “gesturing through the window”.

About a week later, he turned up at her place of work “looking angry” and “rubbing his hands together as though he wanted money from her”.

Smith was demanding £350 for the cocaine he had bought and which the court heard they had shared together.

She ultimately paid him all the money but four days later he walked up to her as she was leaving the Co-op store in Market Place and later “kept sending texts”.

It was only when he told her he was thinking of taking his own life that the woman decided that matters had gone too far and contacted police.

Smith, of Railway Street, was arrested and charged with harassment and supplying cocaine.

He admitted both offences and appeared for sentence on Wednesday.

Mr Cahill said Smith had even sent a few messages to the married woman after his arrest.

One of them read: “What did I do to deserve what you put me through?”

The victim said Smith’s actions had “destroyed” her and had had a severe impact on her family.

She felt “humiliated, degraded and violated”.

“I’m not the same person I was, and I don’t think I ever will be,” she told the court in a victim impact statement.

She was scared to leave her home and had even installed a panic alarm on her phone.

“I was manipulated and controlled by (Smith),” she said.

Mr Cahill said although Smith had been charged with drug supply, he had “effectively” shared the cocaine with his then lover.

Defence barrister Jemima Stephenson said Smith was ashamed of his behaviour and deeply remorseful.

“He’s not been involved in drugs before,” she added.

Smith, who has two previous convictions for common assault, wasn’t ordinarily a drug-taker and had only taken the cocaine “to impress (his lover)”.

Judge Sean Morris said Smith had “plagued” his former lover but was otherwise a law-abiding man who had worked hard as a lorry driver.

However, he told the trucker: “When this lady ended the affair you should have honoured her choice.

“Men need to learn that when they get dumped, they have to live with it.

“You have no right to pester somebody who has made a free choice and you made her life very unpleasant and embarrassed her as well.”

The judge said that because Smith was “ordinarily a thoroughly decent and hard-working, professional man” and the harassment was relatively short-lived, he could steer away from a jail sentence.

Smith was given a 12-month community order with a 16-day rehabilitation programme and handed with a five-year restraining order which prohibits him contacting the victim or her family or turning up at her home or workplace.