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21 March 2015, 09:17
A man has been jailed after Kent Police detectives discovered he was behind a vile campaign of obscene and threatening text messages to the women in his life – including the mothers of his children.
On the surface, Michael Nartey was a married man with a child but as the investigation progressed, police uncovered a web of adultery and a double life with several unsuspecting women who became his victims.
Nartey, of south-east London, was sentenced to three years in prison after he admitted a string of offences including seven counts of harassment to put in fear of violence, three counts of intimidating a witness and two counts of theft.
The 39-year-old’s crimes first came to light when his girlfriend at the time, a woman in her 30s from Sittingbourne, contacted Kent Police in March 2014 to report she had been receiving threatening and obscene text messages from a number she did not recognise.
Detectives began conducting technical enquiries on the telephone number and established it was a pay-as-you-go phone. They accessed a selection of text messages sent from the number to three other women. Officers made contact with the recipients of the messages and questioned them all to see if they could identify a common link.
That link turned out to be Nartey, who was the work colleague of one of the three women and the former partner of the other two, both of whom had a child with him.
Officers arrested Nartey on 24 April 2014 and charged him with seven counts of harassment, as well as theft. He denied the charges in court in September.
Days after he pleaded not guilty to the charges, the victims from Sittingbourne and Birchington reported to police they had both received a further threatening message from a different number.
Officers raided Nartey’s home address on 2 October to arrest him for intimidation. Detectives then searched his home and found the mobile phone that sent the messages hidden inside a plastic bag in the rafters of his garage.
In sentencing, Kent Police officers Detective Sergeant Richard Allingham and Detective Constable Iain Joyce received commendations from Judge John Stevens.
DS Allingham, who led the investigation, said: "Michael Nartey is a predatory individual who committed the ultimate act of betrayal against five women he claimed to care for.
"One was a work colleague and the other four were former partners or current girlfriends, both of whom believed they were in a committed and exclusive relationship with him.
"He launched a bizarre campaign of harassment against all five of them, sending them terrifying and threatening messages that on several occasions had menacing sexual undertones. He made their lives a misery and the whole time he was doing so, pretended he had no idea who was behind the messages."