Stalker from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, jailed after entering victim's home three times while she was in bed

A stalker has been jailed after repeatedly tracking down a woman he met through a dating website and offering to pay her for sex.

By Jon Cooper
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 1:44 pm

Sheffield Crown Court heard on December 22 how Craig Lawrence, aged 46, of Oakroyd Crescent, Grimethorpe, Barnsley, initially met the complainant only four times during two weeks via a dating website before he started stalking her over eight years.

Richard Davies, prosecuting, said during Lawrence’s offending he entered her home on three occasions while she had been in bed and on two occasions he shone a light through a window.

Judge Peter Kelson QC told Lawrence: “This case is as serious an example of its kind that I have ever seen. The extent of your stalking of your victim – which as the offence states causes fear, alarm and distress – is for the remarkably long period of time from May, 2013, to June, 2021.

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Pictured is Craig Lawrence, aged 46, of Oakroyd Crescent, Grimethorpe, Barnsley, who has been sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court to four years of custody after he admitted stalking a woman between May, 2013, and June, 2021.

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"It includes public humiliation. It includes the multiple location of her changed address. No matter how many times she has changed her address you have found her. It includes multiple intrusions into her home or on the doorstep of her home. Those intrusions are in themselves terrifying.”

Mr Davies said Lawrence attempted to contact the woman by social media and she received notes at her home in Doncaster, saying he would pay for sex.

Lawrence also came into her home when she was in bed with her partner in 2016, according to Mr Davies, and he drove past the complainant in Doncaster town centre and asked if she wanted sex.

Pictured is Sheffield Crown Court.

Even after the complainant moved address she was mortified to find Lawrence at her door in 2018 and he visited her on two or three different occasions in August that year, according to Mr Davies.

Mr Davies said Lawrence walked into her bedroom in October, 2018, while he was under the influence of alcohol and she had been watching television in bed.

The complainant moved to another address but in May, 2019, she found a note from Lawrence offering £70 for sex and weeks later he appeared in front of her window, according to Mr Davies.

Lawrence again offered the complainant money for sex after he appeared at a Chinese restaurant in October, 2019, and in March, 2020, he appeared at the complainant’s bedroom window and on two further occasions in 2020 he shone a light into her home, according to Mr Davies.

Mr Davies added Lawrence also contacted the complainant at a takeaway and approached her while she was in a shop.

Lawrence also visited the complainant’s home when she was looking after grandchildren, according to Mr Davies, and she was in bed when he offered to pay for sex with her.

The defendant, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to stalking.

Edward Moss, defending, said: “He knows this contact that he instigated - although sometimes it was random and at times it was clearly planned - was wholly unwanted by the complainant and perhaps for the first time he understands that.”

Judge Kelson sentenced Lawrence to four years of custody and imposed a lifetime restraining order.

He told Lawrence: “She has been advised by the police to move yet again and all of this stemming from a meeting from a dating website.”