Former police inspector spared jail

Gary Ridler, chairman of the pickering and thornton le dale british legion
Gary Ridler, chairman of the pickering and thornton le dale british legion

A highly-commended former police inspector has been given a suspended jail sentence for stalking his former girlfriend.

During a six month period after their relationship ended in 2013, Gary Ridler sent the woman abusive e-mails and anonymously told her landlord and the NSPCC she was having parties, drinking and using cocaine.

It is plain you were desperate to continue the relationship while she had made it repeatedly plain to you she did not.”

Judge Kearl

He also sent a letter to a letting agent containing false information about the state of her home suggesting the landlord be told there were rats and “cat sick” everywhere.

Leeds Crown Court heard today how his ex-girlfriend was left traumatised by his actions.

Judge Guy Kearl QC heard that Ridler, who spent 24 years with North Yorkshire police following service in the army, had suffered “something of a breakdown” and was signed off sick during the period involved.

He was diagnosed as suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and was self-medicating with alcohol.

Ridler, 51, Willowgate, Pickering, admitted stalking and was given a three month prison sentence suspended for two years with 12 months supervision and ordered to pay £1500 costs.

A restraining order was also made banning him from contacting his victim.

Judge Kearl said his devious course of conduct had caused the woman considerable trauma.

He said: “It is plain you were desperate to continue the relationship while she had made it repeatedly plain to you she did not.”

He accepted Ridler’s actions were out of character and when he was having mental health difficulties, feeling isolated and lonely and now recognised what he had put her through and wanted to apologise.

His years of credit serving in the army and police force just enabled the sentence not to be immediate.

Nick Adlington prosecuting told the court the couple had a 14 month relationship but remained in contact after the break-up.

She then began to receive abusive and malicious e-mails and Ridler told her he was too and had asked friends to look into it unofficially.

Mr Adlington said events moved on and an anonymous letter was sent to her landlord accusing her of using cocaine, being drunk and having parties.

Again Ridler claimed the same thing had happened to him and that West Yorkshire police had attended his home and drug tested him.

In November the woman went out to dinner with Ridler. He got drunk and started shouting about the new man in her life and wanted to get back with her.

He then told her boyfriend to look on Facebook warning “there’s a storm ahead.”

He wanted the man to ring him threatening to tell his wife otherwise saying he “should do the right thing.”

Ridler said he loved her and would stand by her when her new boyfriend would not.

Mr Adlington said the woman and her boyfriend were out socially later that year when they noticed Ridler watching them.

Social care was informed by the NSPCC they had received an anonymous complaint of parties at her home, falsely suggested she was using cocaine and leaving her children while she went out drinking.

The letter also suggested the house was in a squalid condition with cat sick everywhere and rats running around.

Mr Adlington said on January 11 Rounthwaite and Woodhead were sent a similar anonymous message suggesting as letting agents they tell the landlord she was taking cocaine while the children were upstairs and that the house was in a disgusting state.

When that letter was examined Ridler’s fingerprint was found on it and he was then arrested.

He said the woman had suffered emotionally and had moved to try avoid the behaviour she was being subjected to.

Alex Menary representing Ridler told the court his guilty plea had drawn “a veil over what had taken place.”

“He is disgusted with himself and the way he behaved and for the effect on [the woman] and her family.”

He had served 12 years in the army before joining North Yorkshire police rising to become an inspector.

The ex-police inspector who was once part of Scarborough Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team was highly praised for his work in catching serious criminals during his service.