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Spurned lover Mark Peterkin avoids jail for harassment campaign of Strood family

A spurned lover who mounted a campaign of harassment against his former partner, her parents and the family business in Strood has narrowly avoided jail.

Mark Peterkin began causing problems for Gemma Knight almost as soon as she broke off their relationship in April.

Maidstone Magistrates’ Court heard Peterkin started bombarding Miss Knight with requests to be taken back.

Mark Peterkin has narrowly avoided jail.
Mark Peterkin has narrowly avoided jail.

These included 53 texts, 25 Facebook messages and a meeting at Strood station where she confirmed she needed space away from him.

He then began sending emails to staff at Medway City Estate-based Knights Blinds, run by her dad, Mark and his brother.

He accused the couple of controlling their daughter, and also began leaving negative reviews about the company online.

Peterkin also sent an email in a fake name to the head teacher at Ms King’s school, claiming she should be investigated.

The matter came to a head when Peterkin started leaving comments on the Medway Messenger’s KentOnline website.

He even sent a fake news story about the family and their business, pretending to be Mr Knight.

The 38-year-old of Pearswood Road, Erith, was arrested and charged with two counts of harassment without violence.

As reported in the Medway Messenger, he pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared in court in June.

The pair appeared at Maidstone Magistrates' Court
The pair appeared at Maidstone Magistrates' Court

Last Thursday, Peterkin returned to the court to be sentenced. Magistrates jailed him for 56 days but suspended the term for 12 months.

He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and to attend rehabilitation sessions.

A restraining order was also issued during the hearing, which prevents Peterkin from contacting Mr Knight and his family.

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