A FORMER hospital worker who stalked a woman, threatened to burn her house down and leak naked photos of her has been jailed.

Neil Stothard, 46, had been drinking heavily since the previous year, the court was told.

It was from a pub while intoxicated that the first “abusive and insulting” phone calls began towards his victim in February 2022.

Stothard, who had been working at Airedale Hospital in Steeton, near Keighley, and living in staff accommodation, called her 20 times in the space of three hours, leaving a total of 15 voicemail messages one of which threatened to burn her house down.

Marc Atkins, prosecuting, said: “He called her names such as ‘stupid f***ing bitch’ and referred to ruining her career. He then referred to naked photographs of the complainant that he said he had and threatened to share them ‘far and wide’.”

That same night he posted to Facebook saying he had “got photos”.

A year later, the defendant again left multiple voicemails totalling over 20 minutes in duration warning that he would “go berserk” and attend her home if she did not answer.

He told her: “I’d get out of the property now - this is a warning - get out of the property now.” Later saying: “You're just going to die in your bed.”

The victim blocked his number but the following evening he attempted to contact her via WhatsApp and Facebook a total of 48 times in two and a half hours.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Airedale General Hospital in KeighleyAiredale General Hospital in Keighley (Image: Newsquest)

A fortnight later Stothard was caught on the woman’s doorbell camera outside her house at night, and CCTV revealed he was looking in windows and tried the door handle.

He told police he was simply trying to check if she still lived at the same address.

Stothard pleaded guilty to making threats to destroy property, threatening to disclose private sexual photographs and stalking causing serious alarm and distress.

Recorder Alex Menary sentenced him to two and a half years imprisonment and imposed an indefinite restraining order.

His actions had had a “devasting impact” on the victim with no aspect of her life unaffected, he said.

In mitigation the court heard that Stothard was suffering from mental health issues and had struggled due to being unable to work due to an injury.

That coupled with the breakdown of a long-term relationship, had seen him turn to drinking.

“He accepts what he has done was wrong,” the court was told.

A spokesman for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust confirmed Stothard was not in a medical role and is no longer employed by the trust.