by Will Worley
A woman who impersonated the police to “terrorise” a former boyfriend has been jailed for nine months.
From 2014, Lauren Adderley, 21, used email and social media to “catfish” Mitchell Lloyd, 22, controlling his movements and social interactions with the threat of punishment.
Adderley, from Shrewsbury, pleaded guilty to stalking and impersonating a police officer.
The pair had a brief relationship but when Mr Lloyd broke it off Adderley told him she had previously been a victim of a sexual offence.
He encouraged her to go to the police and she only agreed if he would be a witness and provide a statement.
But Adderley then created a number of email addresses, pretending to be police officers investigating her non-existent case.
She also set up social media accounts which purported to be witnesses and a lawyer.
Both methods were used to persuade Mr Lloyd there was a genuine investigation in progress and he had to comply with the rules of the officials involved.
Using the name of a non-existent police officer, Robert Hay, Adderley sent Mr Lloyd emails threatening him with financial “sanctions” if he visited pubs with another woman or on certain nights of the week, the Daily Mail reported.
Mr Lloyd was “terrorised” by the communications, believing them to be real, and was left “isolated from his friends and depressed,” Shrewsbury Crown Court heard.
After Mr Lloyd confided in colleagues earlier this year, he was encouraged to go to police, who were able to quickly work out the emails were fake and traced the sender – Adderley.
“Lauren Adderley created a complicated fiction of multiple fake profiles interacting with each other to her own satisfaction and reason,” said Jason Corden-Bowen, domestic abuse lead with West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service.
“She used this sophisticated catfish style behaviour to completely manipulate the victim’s life, dictating when he could go out, where he could go and controlled his social interaction with other people for over two years,” he added.
“The impact her actions had on the victim’s life cannot be understated [sic] and I would like to pay tribute to him for helping bring Adderley to justice.”