A FORMER Swindon Town and Southampton FC player has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Shayne Bradley, who made seven appearances for Swindon Town as a loan player in 1998/9, set up a fake dating profile and began hiding in bushes during his four month stalking campaign.

Speaking after the sentencing hearing at Gloucester Crown Court, the 41-year-old’s victim said: "He has always played the victim, lying and deflecting attention from himself. The lies he told about me were horrific and he ruined my life, so it is important that people know the real Shayne Bradley.”

She said Bradley had been a charmer when they first met in September 2019 but his possessive nature began to come to light, as he “put himself on a pedestal” and claimed her friends did not have her interests at heart.

Once the relationship ended, Bradley, who as player-manager for Tuffley Rovers from 2008 often played against Swindon and Wiltshire teams, bombarded her with telephone calls and abusive emails.

He began stalking her after she changed her number. Over several months, his former partner caught him hiding in hedges near her home, driving by her house and parking nearby.

He was arrested last October and released on police bail with conditions not to contact his victim.

Within days he was made the subject of a non-molestation order, restricting access to the victim and witnesses in the case.

But he was soon arrested, with the authorities placing him under more stringent conditions and introducing an exclusion zone which included the alleyway behind and to the side of the victim's home.

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Police established that Bradley drove to the edge of the exclusion zone, parked his car and approached the fence running behind her property.

Bradley, of The Docks, Gloucester, admitted stalking involving serious alarm or distress. He was jailed for two years and six months and made subject to a five year restraining order.

Speaking after the hearing, his victim said Bradley had made her life hell. 

She said: "We first met in September 2019 and he was a charmer and won me over, but he put himself on a pedestal and said my family and friends didn't have my best interests at heart.

"Eventually his possessive nature began to shine through and it escalated from there. 

“I tolerated his behaviour for a year on and off. I knew it was never going to work, but I did care for him which was always the hard part.

"I knew that when this would end it would not be an easy ride, but little did I know he would go to the extent he did.

"After all contact ended and I changed my number, that's when he started following me and watching my house. Events that followed will stay with me forever.

"On the first occasion I'm aware of he followed me home from a friend's house, and my life was made hell for the months which followed."

She added: "I cannot thank Gloucestershire Constabulary enough for their time and patience, and for believing in me throughout this horrid situation.

"I was also supported by an Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker, who never failed to be there in my time of need.

"Once the investigation began, I knew I could not give in and that I had to follow this through to the bitter end.

"I don't think he realises that his actions in the past few months have had a ripple effect on my life, my family and no doubt his family too.

"I have felt an overwhelming responsibility to put an end to his behaviour toward women. If I can help any other woman by making them aware of this man and his cold calculated behaviour then that is good enough for me."

Joanne Pearce, a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS South West, said: "Shayne Bradley demonstrated that he was an abusive man who refused to accept his relationship with the victim was over. We see cases time and time again where defendants are not allowing their ex-partners to move on with their lives.

"This obsessive behaviour is abuse, pure and simple. We hope that successful prosecutions like this will encourage stalking victims not to suffer in silence, and reassure them that the police and CPS take all such allegations extremely seriously."