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BREAKING: Stalker from Chorleywood sent to prison

 Published on: 17th May 2024   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A stalker who enlisted the help of colleagues and even made up fictitious characters to terrorise his ex-partner has been sentenced to two years and four months imprisonment at St Albans Crown Court.

Charles Vance, 43, of Stag Lane in Chorleywood, enlisted the help of work colleagues Sean Kellard, age 32, of Newton Road, Newbury; Ryan Burton, age 25, of Mount Pleasant Lane in Bricket Wood, St Albans and David Black, age 30, of Anglefield Road, Caversham in Reading.  They were all sentenced for conspiracy to stalk involving fear of violence on Friday, May 10.

Vance also pretended to be a victim of the same stalker and reported fictitious offences to police.  He was sentenced to eight months imprisonment for perverting the course of justice, to run concurrently. He was also given a five-year restraining order not to contact the victim. If he breaches this order, he will go back to prison. When sentencing Vance, Mr Recorder Butler described Vance as the “mastermind behind the conspiracy”, stating his actions were an act of “callous deception”.

Detective Constable Tilly Andrews said: “This was a really terrifying case for the victim who was fearful for her and her children’s lives. This was a particularly complex case because Vance created fictitious characters to conceal the defendants’ identities.

“‘Hannah’ was created as a fictitious ex-partner of the victim’s partner at the time and ‘Hannah’s brother’ was created as another fictitious character. Vance also reported offences of stalking to us to divert attention away from him being the perpetrator, a lie he told very convincingly.”

Between 28 January 2022 and 23 April 2022, the victim was hounded by hundreds of texts and phone calls, which included violent threats. She was also subjected to messages threatening to get her child pregnant and sent death threats via ‘Hannah.’ Unbeknown to the victim, a tracker was planted on her car, which was used to monitor her movements and terrorise her further.

The court heard that on February 5, 2022, a lighter was posted through her letterbox.  On February 8, 2022, white lilies symbolising death were delivered to her address.  Offensive language was written in graffiti on her car on March 4, 2022 and her car windows were smashed on April 2, 2022.

Kellard, sentenced to 21 months imprisonment, was paid by Vance to make numerous phone calls to the victim pretending to be ‘Hannah’s brother’. In these calls, Kellard was threatening and told the victim he was sitting on a bench outside her address waiting for her.

Meanwhile, Burton was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment (suspended for two years), 200 hours of unpaid work and a curfew between 9pm and 6am for three months. He was responsible for smashing her car windows on April 2, 2022, making her car undriveable, and making phone calls to the victim in which he played noises from horror films. He received no separate penalty for the criminal damage.

Black was handed a nine-month prison sentence (suspended for two years) and 200 hours of unpaid work for planning messages to be sent to the victim, plus sending lilies to the victim, and buying a tracker to put on her car.

Summing up the case, Mr Recorder Butler said, “This was nothing less than a persistent and brutal assault on the life and wellbeing of (the victim). To put it bluntly, you all terrorised her and her children… I will not attempt to summarise what she said, because to do so would not do justice to the true extent of the horror she suffered. It is simply worth observing that the defendants’ actions caused her serious harm, physical and mental, and had (and is still having) a profound effect on her day-to-day life.”

DC Andrews added: “The acts of these four defendants are truly shocking. The victim was incredibly courageous throughout this horrific ordeal and the prolonged investigation which followed. She is pleased they have been sentenced. I hope she will be able to start rebuilding her life.

“Safeguarding a victim is always our top priority. If you are experiencing stalking or domestic abuse, please report it.  Stalking can affect every part of your life and can lead to more serious threats. We are here to help and have a dedicated Domestic Abuse and Investigation and Safeguarding Unit.”

You can report information online at, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat at or call the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at

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