A STALKER who subjected his victim to a terrifying 18-month ordeal has been sentenced to more than two years in prison.

Mark Robert Stephens, from Ingleton, North Yorkshire, followed the victim as she went about her daily life and left her feeling 'terrified'.

During this time, she discovered her vehicle had been fitted with a tracking device upon taking it to a garage for a routine check.

“Only now that he will be serving his prison sentence can she begin to rebuild her life, knowing that she is safe," said Detective Sergeant Ian Philips, of North Yorkshire Police (NYP).

“The victim has shown a great deal of bravery in reporting this to the police, and we would encourage anyone who feels threatened by the behaviour of an individual or who is experiencing any form of stalking or harassment to get in touch with us.

"We are here to help and support you, no matter what you are going through.”

Stephens, 54, pleaded guilty to the charge of stalking involving serious alarm/distress. He was sentenced to two years and six months in prison at York Crown Court on Friday. He was also issued with a lifetime restraining order in order to protect his victim.

An NYP spokesman said: "If you wish to report incidents of stalking or harassment, please contact NYP on 101 or if, it’s an emergency, always call 999.

"We have specially-trained officers who can help victims of stalking and harassment, and can also help you access other support services.

"Find out more about the offences and what to do if you or someone you know is affected by visiting northyorkshire.police.uk/staying-safe/personal-safety/stalking-and-harassment/."

Other places to find help include:

- The National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300

- The Independent Domestic Abuse Service: 03000 110 110