July 25 2014 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Thursday, July 3, 2014
A Norfolk police officer who harassed his former partner and used his police computers to trace the address of her new boyfriend, has resigned.
After the break-up of the relationship Matthew Blake, a policeman for 13 years, embarked upon a conduct of behaviour which made his ex-partner feel she was being watched.
Between February 1 and July 31 last year Blake, who had left the home he had shared with his partner and their child, began to send text messages which the victim felt were about “control” and “isolation”.
Blake, of Taverham Road, Taverham, was sentenced to two months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months after he appeared at Norwich Crown Court in May to be sentenced after previously admitting an offence of harassment and another of threatening behaviour.
Blake was also ordered to undertake 12 months supervision and made the subject of a two year restraining order in relation to his former partner and the male.
He was suspended from duty during the duration of the investigation by Norfolk Constabulary’s Professional Standards Department but has since resigned it has emerged.
A spokesman said: “Norfolk Constabulary can confirm PC Matthew Blake, 38, who was convicted of harassment and public order offences at Norwich Crown Court in May submitted his resignation which has been accepted by the force.”
A spokesman for the Norfolk Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers in the county, said they could not comment as he was no longer a serving police officer.
As previously reported, Norwich Crown Court heard the text messages sent by Blake were not offensive but were asking about what she was doing, with a lot of them coming at night when he knew she would be at home or socialising while he was on duty.
He would also regularly drive past her house while on duty.
On April 9 last year a woman friend and a man stayed at his former partner’s property. The man was awoken by “lights of a car outside”.
The following morning Blake, who was being given information about when the man’s car was at the property, returned and confronted the man, telling him him: “I will rip you apart if you come near the house”.
It was absolutely clear that as well as visiting his former partner’s home he used Norfolk Constabulary computer information to trace the home address of the man and made visits to that address while his partner was visiting.
Michael Clare, mitigating, said Blake regretted what happened. He said there was no suggestion the text messages were designed to cause distress.
In terms of the threatening behaviour he said no violence or weapons were used adding he was “exceptionally sorry for letting himself down, letting his emotions get the better of him”.
Sentencing Blake Judge Katharine Moore said relationship said Blake had abused his position as a police officer which, after some 13 years, she said was “no doubt a personal tragedy”.
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