Deferred sentence for Brackley man who stalked ex-girlfriend and threatened to sell intimate pictures after break-up

Marc Lacey appeared at Northampton Crown Court on May 21
Marc Lacey appeared at Northampton Crown Court on May 21

A Brackley stalker who sent "hundreds of emails" to a former partner in which he threatened to post intimate pictures of her on the internet has been told to "keep out of trouble" after a judge deferred his sentence for four months.

Marc Lacey, 44, sent hundreds of emails to his ex to which she only replied five times and was convicted of stalking involving fear of violence in April 2019.

In several of those messages - sent from five separate email addresses so Lacey could evade his former partner's attempts to block him - he threatened to send naked images of her to pornographic websites and her colleagues.

He also threatened violence towards his ex's future partners and offered her £1,000 to sleep with him.

Ben Gow, prosecuting, read out some of the contents of the emails in court.

One read, in reference to her Instagram account: "Allow access or I'll send them [pictures] to a porn site."

In another, Lacey wrote: "Make Insta public and I'll delete the picture."

Mr Gow told the court Lacey wanted to be able to see the Instagram profile "so he could control her" and see if she was "cheating on him".

Judge Rupert Mayo said the messages were "overt threats to publish the photographs", though the prosecution said there was "no evidence" that Lacey "did post and sell them".

Defending for Lacey, Matthew Hodgetts, told the court his client was at the time struggling with his mental health and alcohol abuse as a result of the break-up.

Since then he was back in employment and was among the top 50 salesmen in the country at his company.

Judge Mayo told Lacey he would defer his sentence on four conditions, should the defendant agree to them.

"In my view, this case passes the custodial threshold for the persistence of the threats but I am willing to suspend it," said the judge.

The four conditions, which Lacey agreed to, are that he continues working on his mental health and recovery from alcohol abuse; helps with the transfer of assets between the two parties; makes no contact with his former partner; and "keeps out of trouble".

When asked to clarify what the final condition entailed exactly by Mr Hodgetts, Judge Mayo replied: "It's plenty specific and I have passed many smaller sentences and the defendants know what keeping out of trouble means."

Lacey's sentence was deferred until September 5.