Jealous Husband Pretended To Be An Ex-Boyfriend To Stalk His Own Wife, Then Comforted Her As She Became A Recluse

A jealous husband who wrongly believed his wife had been unfaithful stalked her for almost two years by pretending to be an obsessed ex-boyfriend who would send her menacing messages.
Paul Playle, 43, set out to humiliate and degrade Amanda, his childhood sweetheart and wife of 27 years, by assuming the identity of Anthony Reynolds, whom she had dated at school.
He set up email and Facebook accounts in the name of Mr Reynolds and used them to bombard her with sinister and terrifying messages.
At the same time, he played the role of the loving husband, comforting her as she became a recluse fearful her “stalker” was watching her every move.
Playle was sentenced to three years in prison for his actions, which the judge said had been motivated by jealousy over perceived wrongdoings.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mrs Playle said she would never understand why her husband did what he did.
She said: “I am terrified to leave the house, go to work or the shop across the road. I panic when my phone goes off. I’m embarrassed and I burst into tears for no reason.
“To think it was the one person I believed I could always trust. I no longer trust anyone any more.”
Gareth Burrows, prosecuting, said Playle had deliberately set out to humiliate and control his wife, while comforting her at the same time.
In the messages, sent between Dec 2015 and June 2017, Playle would often question her about previous sexual encounters and he called her a “slag”. He also contacted her parents’ work colleague and set up other accounts pretending to be a girlfriend and friend of Mr Reynolds.
In one message, sent when she was out shopping and holding a new bag, he wrote: “Nice handbag, do you want to meet in Starbucks for a coffee?” He also made comments about seeing her jogging and hid her passport to try to stop her going on holiday with friends.
Police eventually caught him after the “stalker” sent an image of the entrance to Gatwick Airport to Mrs Playle.
Officers were able to track Playle’s car arriving at the terminal and spotted him on CCTV taking the picture. Playle repeatedly denied responsibility, claiming he had been “stitched up”, but a jury took less than 30 minutes to convict him of stalking and coercive and controlling behaviour.
Before knowing her husband was behind the messages, Mrs Playle said she would “panic” if she had not heard from him or their three children.
The pair met when they were 16 and she said she was faithful to him during their marriage, adding: “We had hard times but thought we had a stable family. My children are devastated. My eldest daughter is a totally different person since the trial.”
She asked her husband to admit what he had done so everyone could move on.
Sentencing Playle at Lewes Crown Court yesterday, Judge Christine Henson said the evidence was “overwhelming”, adding: “You are the author of your own fate. You watched your wife effectively crumble before you because of the fear she was experiencing from this online abuse.
“You pretended to comfort her. That is the most calculating and cruel behaviour. [These offences] were committed out of jealousy and a desire to punish her for what you perceived as wrongdoings.”
Playle, of Bexhill, East Sussex, lowered his head and cried in the dock.
Mrs Playle, a nursery worker, who watched as her husband was led to the cells, said she had been affected so badly by the “unbelievable” ordeal that she had considered suicide.
Jealous Husband Pretended To Be An Ex-Boyfriend To Stalk His Own Wife, Then Comforted Her As She Became A Recluse Jealous Husband Pretended To Be An Ex-Boyfriend To Stalk His Own Wife, Then Comforted Her As She Became A Recluse Reviewed by 1 on February 12, 2018 Rating: 5
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