Scarborough stalker walks free over ‘revenge porn’ on Facebook

Alec Brewer
Alec Brewer
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A JILTED stalker who subjected his ex-girlfriend to a terrifying campaign of abuse is thought to be the first person sentenced over ‘revenge porn’ in Britain.

In what magistrates called an “unforgiveable breach of trust”, Alec Brewer, 29, shared pictures, including a naked snap, of her with his new girlfriend after the victim dumped him.

I felt sick that he would have pictures of me

Victim

The court heard how the mother-of-one had no idea he had taken the pictures, which she feared would be seen by her family.

It brought an end to a “suffocating” stalking campaign, with Brewer even getting a job at The Rosette – the victim’s local pub –to keep tabs on her. But despite taking a dim view of his “persistent and obsessive behaviour”, the bench spared him prison.

He was instead handed a 13-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

Scarborough Magistrates’ Court heard Brewer even took pictures of the victim without her knowledge when she was out, after she ended their relationship earlier this year owing to his “controlling and obsessive” behaviour.

The pair had been teenage sweethearts before the victim married and had a child. But after that relationship finished in 2013, Brewer made his move and messaged her on Facebook to try and rekindle the flame.

The couple had an “on-off” relationship for the next two years. But things turned ugly after they broke up, with even the pub’s landlady telling Brewer to “stop stalking her”.

The victim blocked him on Facebook to try to shake him off, but it did not work, with police called at the height of Brewer’s stalking campaign to get him away from her home as he waited for her.

Police did not arrest him, and instead just took him back to his address in South Avenue, Scalby. He later texted her with the message “thanks for the lift home”.

Brewer had been sending incriminating nude snaps of his ex-partner to his new girlfriend on June 10, but she took a screenshot of those messages and passed them to the victim.

The court heard how Brewer had between seven and 15 images of the victim, and that one of the two he had sent showed her completely naked, stroking her hair.

“I felt sick that he would have photos of me like that,” she said through a victim statement read out in court. “I was scared that he would post them on the internet for everyone to see, including my family.”

The publication of the pictures to a third party has been illegal since April 13, when hew legislation was brought in to crack down on the growing trend of ‘revenge porn’ attacks.

The law was introduced to put an end to the practice, in which jilted partners, usually men, would publish explicit pictures of their ex-partners online on forums and websites without the subject’s consent. “Pictures of me naked or semi naked are personal to me,” added the victim. “I would never allow them to be taken.”

Prior to Brewer, only one person has been convicted in Britain over ‘revenge porn’, although it is understood that he may be the first person to be sentenced.

As such, Marcus Topham, representing Brewer, admitted there were no real guidelines for the bench for his sentence, although the offence can carry up to two years imprisonment.

In mitigation he said Brewer’s actions were “out of character” but admitted his conduct had been “annoying and harassing”. “This is an immature individual who has fallen in love with a lady,” he added. “He’s been looking for a reason as to why it’s over.”

Brewer, who will have to pay charges of £345, was also handed an indefinite restraining order to not approach the victim.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Walker, Head of Cybercrime for North Yorkshire Police, said: “‘Revenge porn’ offences are extremely distressing for victims, but they can feel confident that we will use this new legislation to bring offenders to justice.”