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Sex pest Martin Poulter made 17,000 obscene phone calls from Southampton home
HE terrorised almost 17,000 women to satisfy his perverted sexual needs.
Sex pest Martin Poulter would make call after call to random numbers on his mobile phone in the dead of night in the hope a female would answer so he could breathe heavily and make lewd suggestions.
Some of his victims, the youngest of whom was 17, were targeted repeatedly, leaving them scared and even physically sick as he “moaned and groaned” down the phone.
Today the 51-year-old is behind bars after a judge told him only prison was the answer for his “deeply disturbing” campaign against women across the UK.
Southampton Crown Court heard how Poulter, who was married, made a staggering 16,690 calls on his pay-as-you-go mobile phone – 13,346 of which were dialled between 11pm and 6am.
He would spend virtually all of his £440 monthly benefits to buy credit for his phone.
The court was told how he would change digits in mobile numbers and if a man answered he would simply hang up. But if a woman answered he would set about making “disgusting, lewd sexual comments”, he would breathe heavily and describe what he was doing to himself.
Prosecutor Siobhan Linsley told how it was in January 2010 when one woman called her local police in Wiltshire to report that she has received repeated obscene calls in the middle of the night.
Living alone with two young children, she said she felt threatened because she had no idea who was making the calls, which would last for about one minute.
Her mobile phone company provided her with the number that had been calling her, but police could not trace the owner as it was not registered.
Another victim was a student in the middle of her exams , who he would call, using “diabolical language”.
Detectives in Hampshire began investigating and traced 21 victims around the country, who gave statements, but staff at the store initially were unable to identify the man.
However, when police returned in January 2011 shop workers knew exactly who he was – and told how they even nicknamed him “top up man” because he frequented the shop so often.
Poulter was eventually traced when he used his wife’s Co-op store card and police went to his home. He had made his final nuisance call just moments before they arrived.
After initially denying it was him, Poulter eventually pleaded guilty on the day he was due to stand trial earlier this year.
Defending, Jamie Porter said Poulter, of Atherley Road, Southampton, suffered mild depression and he was sexually frustrated, but agreed that any suggestion he wouldn’t keep offending went “against all common sense”.
Jailing him for 30 months Judge Peter Henry QC told Poulter: “They are deeply disturbing phone calls, they were completely random and you had no idea whether you were going to be talking to a person under 16 or not. They were highly unpleasant and upsetting.
“They had no idea whether you were around the corner, watching them, or just a sad person calling from somewhere else in the country.”
Sick offender who had struck before brought to justice
IT’S not the first time depraved Poulter has struck.
Almost 30 years ago, in 1985, he was before the courts for similar public nuisance offences – having made some 200 calls to women in which he told them he was holding someone they knew hostage.
He then threatened to kill or harm his imaginary hostage unless they complied with his sexual
Poulter was convicted of four counts of making threats to kill and a further charge of causing a public nuisance.
His sentencing yesterday was a first for Hampshire and is also thought to be a first nationwide after the law changed surrounding public nuisance to include silent and disturbing phone calls.
Speaking after the case Detective Constable Amy Speed, who led the investigation into Poulter, said: “A huge number of women around the country will sleep better tonight knowing that their tormentor has been given a custodial sentence.
“His actions were despicable and cowardly and the impact should not be underestimated as his victims had their privacy and security of their homes invaded.”