Six years for spurned cyberstalker who became a killer

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A JEALOUS cyberstalker who strangled a woman who had rejected his marriage proposal was yesterday jailed for six years.

Martin Vernarsky, 24, lavished his life savings on 34-year-old Ildiko Dohany giving her cash for a deposit on a house and £5,000 towards an Audi car.

He even bought a ring for the warehouse supervisor but the part-time glamour model regarded him only as a dear friend and started relationships with other men.

When obsessive Vernarsky learned of his love rivals he hacked into Miss Dohany’s private emails and began cyberstalking her for days, culminating in him strangling her outside his flat in Norfolk Park, Sheffield, last September.

The Czech national was found guilty of manslaughter by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court after a two-week trial but not guilty of murder.

The two worked together at a logistics firm in Attercliffe, Sheffield, with Miss Dohany, a Hungarian national who moved to the city after working as an au pair in Kent, in the more senior position.

Jailing the defendant, Mr Justice Cranston said: “She saw him as a close friend and did not intend to take the relationship further.

“When he learned of her relationships with other men there was an element of obsession on his part.

“He repeatedly accessed the emails she exchanged with other men in the few days before her death.

“We don’t know what happened exactly on the evening of her travelling to Hungary but he strangled her.”

Alistair MacDonald QC, for Vernarsky, said after the jury delivered its verdict: “This is a man who was deeply in love with the deceased in this case but something catastrophic as far as his devotion to her occurred in a very short period which caused him to behave in a manner completely out of character. There had been no hint of this in the past.”

He went on: “All the evidence tends to suggest he was devoted to her and as a friend she to him.

“For a disastrous and tragically short period he behaved in a way he will have to live with for the rest of his life.”

But prosecutor Nicholas Clarke QC told the court the victim was a “smaller and weaker” individual who was vulnerable to his attentions.

The judge said he accepted that there had been no evidence of violence in Vernarsky’s past and he did not regard him as dangerous.

He said: “He will have to live with this for the rest of his life.”

He had lied to the police when he was arrested but the jury had seen through his story that he had found Miss Dohany in the Audi outside his flat when she was due to go to Hungary for her sister’s wedding.

He was jailed for six years and will serve half before his release on licence.