Holkham man jailed for stalking

Paul Matthews, of Holkham, has been jailed

Paul Matthews, of Holkham, has been jailed

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A Holkham man has been jailed after admitting stalking charges.

Paul Matthews, 36, of Park Road in Holkham, was sentenced to three years and four months in Norwich Crown Court today (Monday, October 12) after admitting committing an act outraging public decency, stalking, possessing a bladed article in a public place and possession of indecent images of children.

The court heard how on June 30 around 9.30pm, officers were called to reports of a suspicious male in a red car ‘kerb-crawling’ three schoolgirls in the Holt Road and Claypit Lane areas of the town.

Police attended and located the vehicle in the Claypit Lane area just before 10pm, which resulted in Matthews being arrested on suspicion of outraging public decency after committing a lewd act.

A subsequent search of the red Skoda revealed a folding knife; measuring more than three inches and Matthews was further arrested for possession of a bladed article in a public place and was taken into police custody later that night for questioning.

As part of the investigation into the offences, a mobile phone belonging to Matthews’ was seized and several indecent images and videos of children were discovered.

Matthews appeared at Norwich Crown Court on September 9, and entered guilty pleas to all of the offences.

Speaking after today’s hearing, Investigating Officer, Det Con Mark Stratford, said: “I am pleased with this sentence. Matthews preyed on his victims, and because of his actions he caused them and the local community a great degree of distress and anxiety.

“Stalking often has a huge emotional impact on the people involved and in this case scared three young girls. They thankfully told their parents, which resulted in police attending and Matthews being arrested.

“I want to reassure members of the public that all reports of harassment and stalking will be taken seriously, assessed on an individual basis and investigated with appropriate action taken.”