Besotted ex posted abusive Facebook messages

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

A jilted ex-soldier launched a harassment campaign after his girlfriend left him, Burnley magistrates heard.

Karl Whitaker (33) had been so besotted with Emma Becker that he had given up his 16-year Army career for her and thought they would be together for life.

Whitaker had been distraught when she left and continued to contact her. He was given a harassment warning by police, but then posted abusive messages on Facebook.

The defendant, of Cowley Crescent, Padiham, admitted harassment without violence. He was given a 12 month conditional discharge and a restraining order, banning him from contacting Miss Becker and from going onto Hall Street. He was ordered to pay £85 costs, £150 criminal courts charges and £20 victim surcharge.

Prosecutor Dominic Howell said the couple had a relationship for three-and-a-half years. Janet Sime, for Whitaker, said he had an exemplary Army career. She had a letter from a Major General who spoke very highly of him.