Former Grappenhall cricketer who was serial stalker jailed


A former Grappenhall cricketer who stalked a woman whilst also breaching a Restraining Order protecting a second woman he had previously stalked has been jailed.

Grant Hodnett, a former professional cricketer at Grappenhall Cricket Club appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday 22 February where he was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

The 41-year-old of Birch Close, Rixton-on-Glazebrook, previously pleaded guilty to Stalking involving Serious Alarm and Distress, and Breach of a Restraining Order involving two separate victims at an earlier hearing.
The court heard that in June 2023, Hodnett began a relationship with his first victim that ended after three months.

Almost immediately, the victim began receiving numerous emails, messages and calls stating her details had been used to sign her up to newsletters and services online including cigarette companies, alcohol charities, and multiple therapists and counsellors. In one instance the victim had been subscribed to counsellors and described as being a “highfalutin person” and a “habitual liar”.
The victim was then contacted by friends who informed her they had also been contacted by Hodnett.

Enquiries soon linked the subscriptions to Hodnett and his home address and established that he had been calling the victim from multiple withheld numbers.
On Wednesday 1 November 2023, a second victim, who Hodnett had previously been convicted of stalking in September 2020, saw him on London Road, Stockton Heath. This was an area that he was prohibited from entering under the conditions of an indefinite Restraining Order.
Over the course of the investigation launched by the Constabulary’s Harm Reduction Unit (HRU), the 41-year-old was arrested twice, on the first occasion he was aware of police interest in him and attempted to conceal evidence by hiding his mobile phone, laptop and tablet before surrendering to custody.
Further enquiries also resulted in officers arresting Hodnett on a second occasion where they were able to recover these devices, along with other evidence of his offences.
He was subsequently charged with Stalking involving Serious Alarm and Distress, and Breach of a Restraining Order, and remanded into custody. Appearing in court, he had no choice but to plead guilty to both offences due to the overwhelming evidence against him, and was jailed for 18 months.
In addition to his custodial sentence, he was made subject of two indefinite Restraining Orders prohibiting him from contacting his victims, posting or publishing anything about them, or entering areas of Warrington and Northwich.

Following the sentence, investigating officer Police Constable Keith Terril from Cheshire’s Harm Reduction Unit said: “I welcome the sentence handed by the courts in this case. Grant Hodnett is a serial domestic abuse perpetrator, and these convictions clearly demonstrate he is either unable or unwilling to accept his victims’ decisions to end their relationships with him and to leave them alone or adhere to orders from the courts.
“Hodnett evidently hoped that by using the internet and prompting third parties and businesses to contact the victim, he could cause maximum distress from afar and avoid being caught. However, he failed to account for his digital footprint which led straight back to him, proving that the internet offers no sanctuary to those who wish to commit violence against women and girls and domestic abuse.
“His offending has understandably left his two victims shaken and distressed. Commendably both victims described wanting to help keep other women safe as one of their reasons for contacting police, and thanks to their bravery and strength shown throughout this investigation, Hodnett has been held accountable for his actions and is facing a spell behind bars.”
Detective Sergeant Dave Thomason added: “Stalkers wear many masks and are often experts at manipulation and deception. Sometimes the most dangerous stalkers are those who project the narrative of their own victimhood, shielding themselves from their own shadows; rejecting reality to safeguard their fragile self-image.
“I hope that this sends a message to communities in Cheshire that we will do our utmost to keep you safe, but secondly to stalkers, that we are relentless in our pursuit of the truth and will leave no stone unturned.”
The Harm Reduction Unit is a specialist risk management service delivered by Cheshire Constabulary in conjunction with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the Probation Service.
Thanks to additional funding secured by the Police and Crime Commissioner, it was expanded in October 2023 to include a dedicated investigation team taking primacy for the most serious and complex stalking investigations.

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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Chair of Warrington Healthwatch Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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