An ‘obsessed’ police officer stalked his ex-partner and made hundreds of unlawful checks on the force’s computer system when he could not accept the relationship was over.

Jonathan Waugh misused Northumbria Police force's computer system hundreds of times to look for information about his ex-girlfriend, her sons, his ex-wife and one of his partner's colleagues he was jealous of.

The 49-year-old reacted badly when his two-year relationship ended and would message her regularly and turn up at her home unannounced, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Jon Harley, prosecuting, said that on one occasion the defendant barged into the woman’s house and refused to leave after he became obsessed with her.

The court heard how a neighbour of the woman had spotted the defendant peering through her garden fence.

In a victim impact statement, she described how Waugh's behaviour had impacted on her life.

"I have felt scared about going out the house because of this awful feeling of being watched," she said. "I became more reclusive. I have experienced many sleepless nights, waking at the slightest noise."

The victim said she had installed CCTV cameras at her home and was considering moving so that the defendant would longer no where she lived.

Mr Harley said Waugh had used the police force’s computer system hundreds of times to carry out unlawful checks on his ex-girlfriend, ex-wife, and their respective children.

Waugh, of Blyth, Northumberland, pleaded guilty to one charge of stalking during May and June last year and six charges of computer misuse between June 2020 and June 2023.

Mark Styles, mitigating, said his client had been suspended from the force and was fully expecting to lose his job as a result of his conviction.

He told the court that Waugh was highly thought of by his colleagues throughout his 20-year career and former colleagues while he was serving in the armed forces.

Recorder Caroline Sellars said his behaviour would severely damage the public's trust in the police and had left his stalking victim terrified of his actions.

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“You carried out a search on the force computer of your own name, no doubt to trying to find out whether any reports had been made about you,” she said.

Waugh was sentenced to 28 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months and ordered to attend 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days, attend a Building Better Relationships course, take part in a mental health treatment program and was mad subject to a six-month trail monitoring tag.

She added: “You were motivated by our own feelings and your own wants. You didn't give a thought to the victim. You were unable or unwilling to take no for an answer."

He was also issued with a five-year restraining order.