A former soldier from Pickering who bombarded his ex-partner with menacing phone calls and even hacked into her Disney+ account has been jailed for stalking.
Luke Houillebecq, 34, described as a “menace to young women”, couldn’t accept the end of his brief relationship with the named victim and waged a stalking campaign which included besieging her with countless phone calls from withheld numbers, York Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Brooke Morrison said that Houillebecq and the victim had been in a five-month relationship which ended in October last year when he was arrested for allegedly assaulting her.
He was released on bail on condition that he didn’t contact or approach her but immediately made “multiple” phone calls to the victim who didn’t answer them.
He then called her friend to say he knew that the victim was at her house, at which point police were called out.
Three days later, the victim received eight phone calls in the space of three-and-a-half hours from an unknown number.
“She finally answered one of the calls and recognised Houillebecq’s voice saying ‘Hiya’ and laughing and she hung up,” added Ms Morrison.
Two days later, she received 29 phone calls from mainly withheld numbers and a Facebook message in which called her a deeply offensive name and told her she deserved “everything that comes”.
Police turned up at her home in Pickering to take a statement but as soon as they left, the victim received a flurry of phone calls from another withheld number which she eventually answered, pleading with him to leave her alone.
“She heard the defendant saying, ‘You are going to get it’,” said Ms Morrison.
“She hung up and got a further 25 phone calls throughout the day and didn’t answer.”
On 22 October, the victim discovered that her Disney+ account had been altered and her profile name changed to one that was a deeply offensive personal slur.
“She believed this to be the defendant who did this because she had previously given him her login details for Disney+ and her email and received notifications from Facebook that someone had tried to access her account on three occasions,” added Ms Morrison.
Two days later, she was in a wine bar in Pickering with friends when she received another phone call from a withheld number and shortly afterwards saw Houillebecq stood outside the bar.
He was arrested again and charged with stalking and battery. He admitted stalking but the prosecution ultimately dropped the assault charge and offered no further evidence on the allegation.
The father-of-three, of Rye Close, appeared for sentence via video link today after being remanded in custody over the Christmas period.
The court heard he had five previous convictions for eight offences including “remarkably similar” behaviour towards another ex-partner in which he breached a non-molestation order by bombarding her with hundreds of phone calls “from various numbers”, including 67 phone calls in a single day.
His rap sheet also included convictions for carrying an offensive weapon and threatening behaviour.
Houillebecq received an 18-month community order for those offences in 2022. The new offences were in breach of that order and his bail conditions.
Defence barrister Louise Reevell said that Houillebecq, who served in the army for two years during his teens, had “difficulty with accepting when relationships are over”.
Judge Simon Hickey told Houillebecq: “You seem to be a menace towards young women whom you form relationships with. You need to sort your life out.”
Houillebecq was given a four-month jail sentence but will only serve half of that behind bars before being released on prison licence.
He was also given a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting the victim, entering her street in Pickering and posting anything about her on social media.