An advertising executive who obsessively stalked a colleague before faking her own kidnapping has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.
Jessica Nordquist, 26, carried out a “prolonged and persistent” campaign of cyber stalking against the male victim, and sent scores of text messages and emails.
The US national, of Whitechapel, east London, also made false allegations against the victim, who ended their relationship in November last year, and made malicious communications about their employer, the video ad firm Unruly.
But the extent of Nordquist’s deceit became clear after she sent emails to the victim purporting to be from kidnappers, who demanded he comply with their demands to save her life.
The victim immediately contacted police after receiving the messages in April, prompting a full-scale response from the Metropolitan Police’s specialist kidnap squad.
She was located three days later at a bed and breakfast in the Scottish Highlands and arrested on suspicion of stalking as well as perverting the course of justice. She was subsequently charged and pled not guilty, prompting a trial.
Searches of her address found evidence of multiple SIM cards and other devices, while analysis of her computers revealed searches for “fake babies”, The Times newspaper reported.
Nordquist was found guilty of two counts of stalking, two counts of malicious communications, and perverting the course of justice, in October, and was sentenced on Wednesday.
DC Joanne Farrell, formerly of the Community Safety Unit in Tower Hamlets borough, said she hoped the severity of Nordquist’s sentence would encourage male victims of domestic abuse and stalking to come forward.
Farrell added: “Infatuation or revenge, Nordquist’s motivation remains unknown.
“She pursued a relentless campaign of stalking - culminating in faking her own kidnap and assault - that caused immense distress and embarrassment to the victim, his colleagues and loved ones; and even her own family.
“Throughout the investigation and trial, Nordquist has shown she is a compulsive liar and deeply manipulative.”
Farrell said Nordquist was offered “numerous opportunities” to admit her crimes and get help, but refused to do so.
“Her actions diverted police resources from real victims of crime,” she added.
“Her lack of technical expertise and clumsy attempts to cover her tracks by ‘hiding in plain sight’ ultimately led to her conviction, which would not have been possible without the cooperation of UK mobile phone networks and other businesses – for which the Metropolitan police are grateful.”