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Former journalist admits harassing women on social media

Robert SutcliffeA former journalist who left his role on a regional daily after making openly critical social media posts about his bosses has pleaded guilty to five charges of harassment.

Robert Sutcliffe, left, resigned from the Huddersfield Daily Examiner in September after having been suspended the previous month.

Sutcliffe, 58, of Edgerton Road, Huddersfield, appeared in court this week on five charges of harassment without violence, to which he pleaded guilty.

Two of the five offences were carried out against the same female victim while the other three offences each related to different female victims.

Sutcliffe admitted the charges in an appearance at Leeds Magistrates Court on Tuesday. He was due to be sentenced at Kirklees Magistrates Court yesterday but the case was adjourned until 7 February.

The former journalist, who took on a short-lived role as a bar manager after leaving the Examiner, was bailed on condition that he do not contact any of the victims or post anything on social media about them.

The five offences are said to have taken place between June 2023 and November 2023.

Each of the charges were listed as harassment without violence, contrary to section 2(1) and (2) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

The indictment for the first offence stated that Sutcliffe sent numerous unwanted messages and put numerous posts on social media causing the victim to feel harassed, alarmed and distressed.

The second offence, against the same victim, related solely to social media posts while the third and fourth offences related to text messages.

The indictment for the fifth offence stated that Sutcliffe sent numerous unwanted messages as well as uploading social media posts about the victim, causing her to feel harassed, alarmed and distressed

The case was adjourned in order to allow for Probation Service reports.

Sutcliffe began his career editing a weekly newspaper in Doncaster in 1989 before moving to work at the Barnsley Chronicle, the Bradford Telegraph & Argus and then serving as the Calderdale reporter for the Yorkshire Post for 11 years.

He joined the Examiner in 2012.