Police officer stalker victim’s fury he escaped prison

A woman who was harassed by a police officer has this week voiced her fury that her tormenter escaped being jailed.

She says Hoar “ruined her life” over the course of five years, hounding her on the phone and turning up everywhere she went, forcing her to move house and quit her job because of panic attacks.

Hoar, 41, of Smalley Close, Stoke Newington, also abused his position by trawling Metropolitan Police computers for details about her, making dozens of searches between May and August 2010 and 27 enquiries in one day alone.

Yet he was not jailed after being convicted of harassment at magistrates’ court in September this year, or after admitting to an offence under the Computer Misuse Act at Snaresbrook Crown Court earlier this month.

He was handed a community order in each case and in the latter, the judge, Recorder Barry Kogan, said he had carefully considered whether to send him to prison, but was reassured Mr Hoar had pleaded guilty and accepted responsibility for causing his victim distress.

Ms Hanafin said: “The day after court I was inconsolable. I’ve had enough of crying and being angry and that’s all I feel at the moment. I’m in total disbelief that he walked out of court with just a slap on the wrist.”

Hoar, who was dismissed from his post with Tower Hamlets Police in 2010, is subject to an indefinite restraining order, banning him from contacting the victim directly or indirectly, but knowing he lives less than a mile from her home, Ms Hanafin will not go anywhere alone nowadays.

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She said: “They said it is an offence if he does approach you, but why do I have to wait for that?

“The weekend I first reported him several years ago, I read an article in a magazine saying 101 women had been killed or violently attacked that year by a man they rejected. Some had acid thrown in faces, some were stabbed, shot or murdered.

“I’m sure those other women who are dead or scarred for life didn’t think that was going to happen to them.”

She is now looking into suing the police for compensation. “He abused my life while he was working for them, I feel I’ve been made to look like a joke,” she added.

New legislation to tackle stalking was introduced in England and Wales this week, making it a criminal offence. Previously abusers were often charged with the less serious offence of harassment.