A “manipulative” man who tried to get his Tinder friend expelled from uni now faces a £100k bill.
Oliver Mills-Nanyn, 23, launched his “predatory” campaign of harassment after meeting Manchester University medical student, Scarlett Dew, in late 2019, on Tinder.
London’s High Court heard how the two met on Tinder, but Scarlett “cut off contact” with Oliver in July 2020 when his behaviour grew increasingly “erratic”, her barrister, Ben Hamer, told the court.
The yachtsman, from Oldham, set up puppet accounts on social media to contact Scarlett and “follow her friends and family,” telling her: “I’d love to take you on a date.”
In March last year, he agreed to “cease and desist” from contacting her, but then in a “disgraceful” incident, wrote to her university, accusing her of “stalking and harassing” him and asking that she be removed from her course.
This week, Scarlett took the case to the High Court, where top judge Mrs Justice Collins-Rice handed him a suspended six-month jail term for breaching his undertaking to stop bothering her.
The aspiring merchant seaman, who currently works as a deck hand on a yacht, also now faces a £98,154 court bill – after being ordered to pay her legal fees.
Scarlett’s barrister, Mr Hamer, told the London court that, after meeting online, she had decided she did not want to continue a friendship with the yachtsman.
“From this point, he began a serious campaign of harassment, including contacting her friends and family via social media and via various accounts,” he told the judge.
When she blanked his messages, he suddenly became abusive, said the barrister, although he then tried to make a joke about his comments.
He also set up a bogus social media account in which he posed as someone she had met at a party in Unsworth Park.
Mr Hamer said the campaign had culminated in his “disgraceful” report to her university.
In a complaint form, he claimed that “a student has been stalking and harassing me and I have recently been able to take out a non-molestation order on her.”
“However, due to her being a student in the city of Manchester, this has left me scared to leave home and I am requesting for her to be removed from the university,” he added.
Mr Hamer said: “There was no such non-molestation order and nor was she stalking or harassing Mr Mills-Nanyn. The reverse was true and his account is the narrative of a fantasist.”
The social media onslaught, in which Scarlett found her friends likewise contacted by Oliver, cast a dark shadow over her time at university, the barrister added.
Scarlett feared that she would never escape his obsessive pursuit, the court was told.
After Oliver failed to stick to his undertaking to cease contact with Scarlett and her family, she went to court in a bid to have him jailed for continuing to stalk her.
Scarlett – a student of biomedical sciences – felt she had no choice given the relentlessness of his campaign, Mr Hamer explained.
“She fears that he will continue following her for ever, continue to manipulate those around her, and to harm her relationships and future career prospects,” he said.
“She feels that she just cannot get away from him, no matter where she goes or what she does.”
Oliver had shown little sign of contrition before the case reached court, said the barrister, although he ultimately admitted 20 breaches of his March 2021 undertaking not to harass or contact Scarlett.
Simon Fagan, for Oliver, said his client accepted his conduct was “inappropriate – and by his admission he recognises that he should not have conducted himself in the manner as alleged or at all”.
With Oliver currently working on a yacht destined to be at sea for the rest of the year, there would be scant chance of him again breaching the undertaking, said Mr Fagan.
Ruling, Mrs Justice Collins-Rice said Oliver had “no excuse for this calculating and abusive conduct” and had apologised for his actions “extremely late”.
“The context of the breaches was a persistent, harmful, offensive, oppressive and predatory course of conduct, constituting a gross invasion of a blameless young woman’s fundamental rights to freedom,” she added.
The judge said she was suspending his six-month sentence for contempt of court in light of his lack of previous convictions and the effect of jail on his future maritime career.
Addressing Scarlett, she concluded: “I recognise this can’t give you back the experiences of your university life and the relationships with your friends, which any young woman of your age is entitled to enjoy.
“But I very much hope that you will now be able to put this episode behind you and get on with the life you deserve.”
Oliver, who stood up in court as the judge sentenced him, was also ordered to pay out £98,154 in Scarlett’s court fees.