A jealous woman was somehow able to control her ex-boyfriend’s life – forbidding him from seeing other women and even going to certain bars – for two years, by posing as police officers and convincing him that he was part of an investigation.
21-year-old Lauren Adderley and Mitchell Lloyd, 22, both from Shrewsbury, UK, were in a romantic relationship for only two months, in 2014, but even though Lloyd made it clear he wanted nothing more to do with her after that, the young woman spent the next two years making his life a living hell. She put together a sophisticated blackmail plan that was put into motion right after the breakup. Lauren told her ex that she had been the victim of a crime and asked him to provide a statement to the police. He accepted, and was soon contacted by a certain Robert Hay, supposedly a police officer and a friend of Adderley’s family, asking for the statement by email. Little did Mitchell know that Robert Hay was actually an online alias of Lauren’s, and that he would become his biggest nightmare.
After walking home with a female colleague, after a Christmas party, in December 2014, which made Lauren Adderley very upset, Mitchell Lloyd received a threatening email from Robert Hay, asking why he had made his friend upset by seeing other women. But this was only the beginning of a long and painful road for Mitchell. Soon, Robert Hay started setting curfews for him, effectively banning him from going out to certain pubs and bars on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, which pretty much ruined his social life. He was also banned from seeing or even speaking to some of his friends, mostly women, and that failing to comply could result in hefty fines of up to £15,000.
“He abided by this, believing that it was a legitimate order, due to the official wording and the formal terms used,” according to Dafydd Roberts, the prosecutor in charge of this unusual case. “On one occasion, Mr Mitchell wanted to take own mother and his young daughter out for lunch. They attended a public house together. However, he received an email from Robert Hay saying that he was breaking an order by doing so, and was threatened with a sanction. He was told that he could be fined around £3,000 for wasting police time, and that he would be fined around £15,000 if Laura Adderley’s case did not succeed.”
In order to keep the scam looking legit, Adderley dumped the “Robert Hay” alias, adopting “Darren Clarke”, a different police officer who had taken over the case, due to Hay’s personal connection to Lauren Adderley. After a while, the case was turned over to a certain Elaine Thomas, a “senior police officer”, and the nightmare continued.
As if being constantly threatened and pressured by police wasn’t stressful enough, Mitchell Lloyd also had to put up with social media lynching from Lauren Adderley’s friends, whenever he tried getting into another relationship. He would later find out that Lauren herself was behind that as well, posing as her own friends in order to make his life miserable.
Two years into the relentless blackmail, Mitchell Lloyd finally found the courage to tell his friends what he had been going through, and they advised him to go to the police about it. Real officers were immediately able to deduce that the emails he had been receiving were fake, and eventually trace them back to a certain Lauren Adderley, and she was jailed for nine months.
“Lauren Adderley created a complicated fiction of multiple fake profiles interacting with each other to her own satisfaction and reason. She used this sophisticated catfish-style behaviour to completely manipulate the victim’s life, dictating when he could go out, where he could go and controlled his social interaction with other people for over two years,” said Jason Corden-Bowen, District Crown Prosecutor and Domestic Abuse Lead with West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service. “The impact her actions had on the victim’s life cannot be understated and I would like to pay tribute to him for helping bring Adderley to justice.”
This woman’s behaviour is undoubtedly disturbing, but who in their right mind goes along with something like this for two years, only getting contacted by the police by email? Did Mitchell never think it suspicious that he never got a phone call from these officers, not to mention meeting any of them face-to-face?