A woman has been jailed after carrying out a prolonged campaign of cyberstalking her ex-boyfriend, culminating in the faking of her own kidnap and assault.
Jessica Nordquist, a US national who sent pictures of herself bound and undressed to her former partner Mark Weeks, claimed to have been raped and defended herself by saying she had been abducted by an MI5 agent, faces deportation at the end of her four-and-a-half-year jail sentence.
As well as sending scores of text messages and emails to Weeks, the 26-year-old created about 20 Instagram accounts to harass him, made false allegations against him and sent malicious communications to the company where they had worked together, the video advertising company Unruly.
Nordquist was sentenced on Wednesday at Snaresbrook crown court in north-east London, where she was found guilty on 11 October of two counts of stalking involving serious alarm/distress, two counts of malicious communications and perverting the course of public justice.
Police said they hoped that the severity of the sentence imposed on Nordquist would encourage male victims who were traditionally reluctant to report domestic abuse to come forward.
Nordquist had been issued a first instance harassment warning on 24 January and had been due to appear in court on 4 May after being charged in February with one count of stalking and two counts of malicious communications.
However, on April 19 members of her family, friends, colleagues and Weeks received an email purporting to be from an alleged crime group, claiming they had raped and kidnapped her. Photographs of her naked, bound and gagged were attached, while further emails claimed her fingers had been broken.
An investigation was launched by police, including Scotland Yard's kidnap and modern slavery unit after officers attended Nordquist's flat in Whitechapel and discovered a kidnap note pinned to the front door.
She was found alone, safe and well by Police Scotland in a B&B in the Scottish Highlands on 21 April. In her possession was what police described as two disguise kits and camping equipment in a rucksack.
Nordquist ran a defence case in which she claimed to have been kidnapped by an MI5 agent whom she met at a Soho bar.
Sentencing, Judge Paul Southern told Nordquist: 'This bizarre series of behaviour involved you breaking into your own apartment, taking a photo of yourself bound and undressed and travelling to Scotland.
"Your conduct has to be seen as an attack against the criminal justice system by diverting scarce police resources."
Weeks had told the court how emails about his private life were sent to senior colleagues at Unruly. "I was embarrassed. I was really anxious, the effect it was having on my career and my reputation in the company," he added.
Reading his victim impact statement to the court, the prosecutor said: "He was constantly scared and on edge about what might happen next to him. He mentions specific occasions where he would receive a text from an unknown number saying he was being watched and his home was being watched.
"He says: 'I was absolutely terrified'."
Nordquist's defence lawyer blamed her behaviour on her traumatic early childhood before she was adopted by her Alaskan parents.
DC Joanne Farrell, formerly of the community safety unit at Tower Hamlets, said: "Throughout the investigation and trial, Nordquist has shown she is a compulsive liar and deeply manipulative. She was offered numerous opportunities to admit her offending and receive help but she repeatedly refused to do so, forcing the need for a trial."
"I hope the severity of this sentence encourages male victims who are traditionally reluctant to report domestic abuse to come forward to police."