Woman's blind date with stalker, Stephen Peters from Whiteley

Daily Echo: Stephen Peters Stephen Peters

A MAN set up a fake profile on an Internet dating site to lure his ex-lover to a blind date in a pub, a court heard.

Stephen Peters, 50, began the deception just weeks after his relationship with the woman came to an end.

Now he has been handed a suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to harassment.

Peters had already been ordered by police not to contact his former lover.

But he ignored the warnings and “tricked” his ex in to a meeting – by setting up a bogus account on the Internet dating site Plenty of Fish and contacted the woman without revealing his true identity, a court heard.

He started the deception just weeks after the pair had ended their three-month relationship – having met using the same dating service.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court was told how Peters gained the trust of the primary school worker using his false account in January and February, and they agreed to meet in a pub.

It was only when she saw him in the bar that she realised she had been “duped”, magistrates heard.

Peters, of Cobham Grove, Whiteley, later pleaded guilty to harassment without violence by contacting the woman via telephone, text and online.

When asked to explain his actions, he told the court he had been under “severe stress” at the time due to problems with another former partner.

He said he had regarded the woman as a “prop and a reliance” while trying to come to terms with those problems.

Peters told the court he had set up the dating account because he was curious as to how his ex would react about the break up when asked about it by someone else.

At the time he had taken the view that she realised it was him who was contacting her on the dating site. Peters added that he had no intention of trying to contact the woman again as he now found her to be “a dislikeable character”.

Magistrate Alan Fair said Peters’ behaviour was “sophisticated” and that the woman involved had felt as though she had been “deliberately tricked” in to seeing him again.

He added: “We are dealing with a serious offence here. You put that lady through quite a lot.”

He was handed a four-week jail term, suspended for 12 months as well as 18 “specified activity” sessions over a 12 month period. Peters was also fined £165.

Comments (12)

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12:20pm Thu 11 Apr 13

boilerman says...

Woman should take along a friend, even if the friend stays out of sight, when going on a blind date just to be safe.
What the guy did was wrong and he has deservedly been punished, but the woman should have been a bit more sensible about her safety.
As many people have said before anyone can say what they like about themselves on these sites.
I think however that people should take a bit more responsibility for their action's.
Woman should take along a friend, even if the friend stays out of sight, when going on a blind date just to be safe. What the guy did was wrong and he has deservedly been punished, but the woman should have been a bit more sensible about her safety. As many people have said before anyone can say what they like about themselves on these sites. I think however that people should take a bit more responsibility for their action's. boilerman
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Thu 11 Apr 13

MisterGrimsdale says...

...or do what Austrians do and agree to meet in the man's cellar.
...or do what Austrians do and agree to meet in the man's cellar. MisterGrimsdale
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Thu 11 Apr 13

cantthinkofone says...

Love/****/crushes make people (usually men for some reason) do daft things sometimes.
.
I bet every man reading this can recall some point in their life that they behaved in a way that they cringe at now, because of an infatuation of some sort.
.
I'm not condoning what he did - it's creepy as heck - put I sympathise to some extent.
.
Let's hope he gets his act together, and his ex finds more happiness with a future partner.
Love/****/crushes make people (usually men for some reason) do daft things sometimes. . I bet every man reading this can recall some point in their life that they behaved in a way that they cringe at now, because of an infatuation of some sort. . I'm not condoning what he did - it's creepy as heck - put I sympathise to some extent. . Let's hope he gets his act together, and his ex finds more happiness with a future partner. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 1

2:06pm Thu 11 Apr 13

cantthinkofone says...

lol. I forgot that 'lu5t' is considered a naughty word on here.
.
Very Victorian...
lol. I forgot that 'lu5t' is considered a naughty word on here. . Very Victorian... cantthinkofone
  • Score: 0

3:46pm Thu 11 Apr 13

bigfella777 says...

I think it's romantic.
I think it's romantic. bigfella777
  • Score: 1

5:05pm Thu 11 Apr 13

cantthinkofone says...

bigfella777 wrote:
I think it's romantic.
The thing is, if it was put in the plot of a romantic novel or film then that's exactly how it would be portrayed.
.
It's no wonder some men get a bit confused.
.
There needs to be more education of men about boundaries, to counter-balance the fiction.
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: I think it's romantic.[/p][/quote]The thing is, if it was put in the plot of a romantic novel or film then that's exactly how it would be portrayed. . It's no wonder some men get a bit confused. . There needs to be more education of men about boundaries, to counter-balance the fiction. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 1

2:04am Fri 12 Apr 13

potsandkettles says...

There are always two sides to a story. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a case of "a woman scorned...". After all, men subjected to this sort of thing are often just told to enjoy the attention while women can run to the plod every time and spin out a suitable sob story. Let's hope the poor bloke finds someone more worthy!
There are always two sides to a story. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a case of "a woman scorned...". After all, men subjected to this sort of thing are often just told to enjoy the attention while women can run to the plod every time and spin out a suitable sob story. Let's hope the poor bloke finds someone more worthy! potsandkettles
  • Score: 1

8:08pm Fri 12 Apr 13

cantthinkofone says...

potsandkettles wrote:
There are always two sides to a story. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a case of "a woman scorned...". After all, men subjected to this sort of thing are often just told to enjoy the attention while women can run to the plod every time and spin out a suitable sob story. Let's hope the poor bloke finds someone more worthy!
Although I know what you mean (and my own post was similar in some ways), it's also important not to presume blame on the victim. It's a difficult area as there are undoubtedly *some* women out there that will abuse the law to attack men that they have a grudge against.
.
BUT! And it's a very BIG but - those women are a TINY minority. The proportion of false rape claimants is less than 3% IIRC. Women (or men) who have been harassed need to feel supported, not suspected - otherwise people won't report things and scumbags will continue to get away with unacceptable and disgusting behaviour. None of us want that for our sons or daughters.
.
It's a difficult balance, and innocent until proven guilty is vital. But it's incredibly important that people don't start believing that *false* claims of harassment or worse are the norm. They are very much the exception.
.
I agree with you that the attitude of the police in these things doesn't help. I'm afraid many of them simply aren't bright enough to deal with these kinds of things appropriately. Happily, there are a few very principled and intelligent coppers out there as well.
[quote][p][bold]potsandkettles[/bold] wrote: There are always two sides to a story. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a case of "a woman scorned...". After all, men subjected to this sort of thing are often just told to enjoy the attention while women can run to the plod every time and spin out a suitable sob story. Let's hope the poor bloke finds someone more worthy![/p][/quote]Although I know what you mean (and my own post was similar in some ways), it's also important not to presume blame on the victim. It's a difficult area as there are undoubtedly *some* women out there that will abuse the law to attack men that they have a grudge against. . BUT! And it's a very BIG but - those women are a TINY minority. The proportion of false rape claimants is less than 3% IIRC. Women (or men) who have been harassed need to feel supported, not suspected - otherwise people won't report things and scumbags will continue to get away with unacceptable and disgusting behaviour. None of us want that for our sons or daughters. . It's a difficult balance, and innocent until proven guilty is vital. But it's incredibly important that people don't start believing that *false* claims of harassment or worse are the norm. They are very much the exception. . I agree with you that the attitude of the police in these things doesn't help. I'm afraid many of them simply aren't bright enough to deal with these kinds of things appropriately. Happily, there are a few very principled and intelligent coppers out there as well. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 1

8:16am Sat 13 Apr 13

potsandkettles says...

cantthinkofone wrote:
potsandkettles wrote:
There are always two sides to a story. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a case of "a woman scorned...". After all, men subjected to this sort of thing are often just told to enjoy the attention while women can run to the plod every time and spin out a suitable sob story. Let's hope the poor bloke finds someone more worthy!
Although I know what you mean (and my own post was similar in some ways), it's also important not to presume blame on the victim. It's a difficult area as there are undoubtedly *some* women out there that will abuse the law to attack men that they have a grudge against.
.
BUT! And it's a very BIG but - those women are a TINY minority. The proportion of false rape claimants is less than 3% IIRC. Women (or men) who have been harassed need to feel supported, not suspected - otherwise people won't report things and scumbags will continue to get away with unacceptable and disgusting behaviour. None of us want that for our sons or daughters.
.
It's a difficult balance, and innocent until proven guilty is vital. But it's incredibly important that people don't start believing that *false* claims of harassment or worse are the norm. They are very much the exception.
.
I agree with you that the attitude of the police in these things doesn't help. I'm afraid many of them simply aren't bright enough to deal with these kinds of things appropriately. Happily, there are a few very principled and intelligent coppers out there as well.
Yes, that's true and we don't know the full facts.

Having said that, have you seen reviews of this dating site and of dating sites in general? Most of the horror stories quoted make this man seem like a mild nuisance in comparison.
[quote][p][bold]cantthinkofone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]potsandkettles[/bold] wrote: There are always two sides to a story. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a case of "a woman scorned...". After all, men subjected to this sort of thing are often just told to enjoy the attention while women can run to the plod every time and spin out a suitable sob story. Let's hope the poor bloke finds someone more worthy![/p][/quote]Although I know what you mean (and my own post was similar in some ways), it's also important not to presume blame on the victim. It's a difficult area as there are undoubtedly *some* women out there that will abuse the law to attack men that they have a grudge against. . BUT! And it's a very BIG but - those women are a TINY minority. The proportion of false rape claimants is less than 3% IIRC. Women (or men) who have been harassed need to feel supported, not suspected - otherwise people won't report things and scumbags will continue to get away with unacceptable and disgusting behaviour. None of us want that for our sons or daughters. . It's a difficult balance, and innocent until proven guilty is vital. But it's incredibly important that people don't start believing that *false* claims of harassment or worse are the norm. They are very much the exception. . I agree with you that the attitude of the police in these things doesn't help. I'm afraid many of them simply aren't bright enough to deal with these kinds of things appropriately. Happily, there are a few very principled and intelligent coppers out there as well.[/p][/quote]Yes, that's true and we don't know the full facts. Having said that, have you seen reviews of this dating site and of dating sites in general? Most of the horror stories quoted make this man seem like a mild nuisance in comparison. potsandkettles
  • Score: 1

6:09pm Sat 13 Apr 13

cantthinkofone says...

potsandkettles wrote:
cantthinkofone wrote:
potsandkettles wrote:
There are always two sides to a story. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a case of "a woman scorned...". After all, men subjected to this sort of thing are often just told to enjoy the attention while women can run to the plod every time and spin out a suitable sob story. Let's hope the poor bloke finds someone more worthy!
Although I know what you mean (and my own post was similar in some ways), it's also important not to presume blame on the victim. It's a difficult area as there are undoubtedly *some* women out there that will abuse the law to attack men that they have a grudge against.
.
BUT! And it's a very BIG but - those women are a TINY minority. The proportion of false rape claimants is less than 3% IIRC. Women (or men) who have been harassed need to feel supported, not suspected - otherwise people won't report things and scumbags will continue to get away with unacceptable and disgusting behaviour. None of us want that for our sons or daughters.
.
It's a difficult balance, and innocent until proven guilty is vital. But it's incredibly important that people don't start believing that *false* claims of harassment or worse are the norm. They are very much the exception.
.
I agree with you that the attitude of the police in these things doesn't help. I'm afraid many of them simply aren't bright enough to deal with these kinds of things appropriately. Happily, there are a few very principled and intelligent coppers out there as well.
Yes, that's true and we don't know the full facts.

Having said that, have you seen reviews of this dating site and of dating sites in general? Most of the horror stories quoted make this man seem like a mild nuisance in comparison.
I find the whole 'organised' dating thing to be fairly horrific in all honesty. People openly rating each other against a set of criteria, discussing (ridiculing) their dates flaws with all and sundry, with nary a moment of self-reflection or consideration of how they themselves might have behaved better.
.
Not something I've experienced myself thankfully, having met my other half IRL - but I've watched the experiences of friends (both male and female) and rarely do they seem to be good ones. The whole thing seems to lack compassion, humanity, and humility.
[quote][p][bold]potsandkettles[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]cantthinkofone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]potsandkettles[/bold] wrote: There are always two sides to a story. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a case of "a woman scorned...". After all, men subjected to this sort of thing are often just told to enjoy the attention while women can run to the plod every time and spin out a suitable sob story. Let's hope the poor bloke finds someone more worthy![/p][/quote]Although I know what you mean (and my own post was similar in some ways), it's also important not to presume blame on the victim. It's a difficult area as there are undoubtedly *some* women out there that will abuse the law to attack men that they have a grudge against. . BUT! And it's a very BIG but - those women are a TINY minority. The proportion of false rape claimants is less than 3% IIRC. Women (or men) who have been harassed need to feel supported, not suspected - otherwise people won't report things and scumbags will continue to get away with unacceptable and disgusting behaviour. None of us want that for our sons or daughters. . It's a difficult balance, and innocent until proven guilty is vital. But it's incredibly important that people don't start believing that *false* claims of harassment or worse are the norm. They are very much the exception. . I agree with you that the attitude of the police in these things doesn't help. I'm afraid many of them simply aren't bright enough to deal with these kinds of things appropriately. Happily, there are a few very principled and intelligent coppers out there as well.[/p][/quote]Yes, that's true and we don't know the full facts. Having said that, have you seen reviews of this dating site and of dating sites in general? Most of the horror stories quoted make this man seem like a mild nuisance in comparison.[/p][/quote]I find the whole 'organised' dating thing to be fairly horrific in all honesty. People openly rating each other against a set of criteria, discussing (ridiculing) their dates flaws with all and sundry, with nary a moment of self-reflection or consideration of how they themselves might have behaved better. . Not something I've experienced myself thankfully, having met my other half IRL - but I've watched the experiences of friends (both male and female) and rarely do they seem to be good ones. The whole thing seems to lack compassion, humanity, and humility. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 1

6:10pm Sat 13 Apr 13

cantthinkofone says...

Oops, missing apostrophe - *date's*
Oops, missing apostrophe - *date's* cantthinkofone
  • Score: 0

8:42pm Wed 17 Apr 13

Kevcanfixit says...

Everybody should be aware that according to the Portsmouth News Mr Peters harassed his victim for months, even after the police told him to stay away from her. And he has a prior conviction for a similar offence against another ex girlfriend less than 6 months before.
Everybody should be aware that according to the Portsmouth News Mr Peters harassed his victim for months, even after the police told him to stay away from her. And he has a prior conviction for a similar offence against another ex girlfriend less than 6 months before. Kevcanfixit
  • Score: 2

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