May 2021

‘Dangerous’ stalker who targeted woman in her 30s fails to get jail term cut

A stalker from Suffolk has failed in a bid to have his sentence shortened.

Simon Bourdon was jailed for six years at Ipswich Crown Court in March last year – with an extended licence period – for the most persistent case of harassment one police officer had dealt with.

Bourdon, of Main Road, Woolverstone, was charged in November 2019 with stalking a woman in her 30s, six counts of breaching a restraining order and three counts of disclosing private images without consent.

In December 2019, he pleaded guilty to stalking, four counts of breaching the order and one count of disclosing private images.

The court heard how Bourdon had repeatedly contacted the woman by phone, post, email and on social media; sent her unwanted gifts and applied for a credit card in her name, and caused an unknown man to contact her with a view to meeting her for sex.

He also posted sexual images – taken without her knowledge – on a dating website and an Instagram account.

Bourdon had been made subject to the restraining order after being convicted of harassment against the same woman and sent to prison for eight weeks in February 2019.

He also had previous convictions for harassing a former partner in 2004, 2012 and 2014.

Bourdon, now 59, took his case to the Court of Appeal to complain that he should have received more time off for a guilty plea.

Bourdon had denied all allegations when arrested and interviewed, before resuming the stalking while released under investigation. 

When arrested again in July 2019, he denied all offences and was released, only to keep offending until his third arrest in November 2019.

At his first appearance before magistrates, he indicated pleas of not guilty or gave no indication of plea. 

Bourdon pleaded guilty to the six charges at Ipswich Crown Court and was jailed by Judge David Pugh, who allowed 25% credit for the guilty pleas.

Where a guilty plea is indicated at the first stage of proceedings, a reduction of one third should be made, subject to the accused needing further information or advice. After the first stage, the maximum level of reduction is one quarter.

Judge Pugh also determined that Bourdon was a dangerous offender and imposed an extended determinate sentence.

Peter Spary, representing Bourdon at the Court of Appeal, argued that the judge should have reduced the custodial term by 33%, because an intention to plead guilty was advanced at an early stage. 

Mr Spary also challenged the finding of dangerousness, highlighting a post-sentence psychiatric report, which noted ex-serviceman Bourdon’s history of PTSD, anti-depressant treatment and alcohol problems, and that any risk would be significantly reduced with therapy and help for alcohol abuse.

The report also said Bourdon was not a man the court would find dangerous, as defined for sentencing purposes.

The court dismissed the appeal, ruling that Judge Pugh was entitled to make the finding of dangerousness, and that Bourdon’s mental health problems did not reduce his culpability.