Man who was behind a social media hate campaign on his ex-partner culminating in her car being petrol bombed has been jailed.
Robert McNaughton, aged 51, from Halesowen, denied being behind fake Facebook accounts, set up to troll the woman, aged 44, during a six month harassment campaign.
But following extensive investigations, officers charged NcNaughton with conspiracy to commit arson and harassment. He was found guilty at an earlier hearing and was jailed for five years at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
The court heard that his ex-partner had spurned his attempts at a reconciliation; McNaughton unable to deal with the rejection and bent on revenge began a systematic hate campaign.
During December 2014 and February 2015 he bombarded her with abusive Facebook messages, threatening to release intimate images.
But, he was not content with terrorising her by social media and hired two men, Matthew Barker and Joden Smith, to carry out a string of attacks on her home, culminating in February 2015 with her car being set on fire.
Sergeant Chris Jones, said: “McNaughton a successful local business man could not handle being rejected and became hell bent on destroying his ex-partners life.
“She was in total fear and we knew that we needed to stop the person responsible.
“This was a classic case of domestic abuse, he wanted to control his ex and used fear to do that.
“Domestic abuse comes in many forms and if you are suffering physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial abuse or are being threatened or intimidated in your home by a current or previous partner or adult family member you are a victim of domestic abuse.
“You may be feeling frightened, isolated, ashamed and confused. Remember you are not to blame for what is happening. You are not alone, and above all you do not have to suffer in silence – help is available.
“We are pleased that the jury saw through his lies and that he has now been sent to jail. We hope that this offers some comfort to the victim and we commend her bravery for coming forward in what has been a long and successful investigation.”
Prior to the start of McNaughton’s trial, Matthew Barker, aged 42 from Leicester, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit criminal damage, while 20-year-old Joden Smith, also from Leicester, admitted the conspiracy to commit criminal damage and arson, recklessy endangering life.
Barker was jailed for 43 months and Smith was sent to a young offenders institute for four years.