‘Jealous’ detective who bombarded policeman ex with 1,600 messages avoids jail

A spurned detective who bombarded her policeman ex-lover with thousands of texts and calls and threatened to derail his career wept as she was spared jail today.

Detective Constable Debra Mackrell, 43, made more than 1,600 anonymous phone calls to her ex, Paul Brewster after their relationship broke down.

She also made threats to tell superiors the 53-year-old man was mentally unfit to handle a gun to get him kicked out of firearms unit SO19.

But a jury at Inner London Crown Court found her guilty of harassment in September but she today was spared jail.

Instead, Judge Freya Newbery sentenced her to a one year conditional discharge and banned from making any contact with Mr Brewer until further order.


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She said: "There was a sort of sense of Groundhog Day because another day would begin and another series of phone calls or messages would begin amicably and then break down again.

"The irony is that he [Mr Brewer] knew she was in poor mental health and hoped to placate her and managed by remaining in contact with her.

"Of course with hindsight, that simply prolonged matters over a period of months as Miss Mackrell your situation, your mental health, deteriorated further.


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"It was a pathological relationship, dragging on, and words such as toxic and rollercoaster aptly applied by the witnesses in the case."

Mackrell, a former "exemplary officer", received a commendation in 2012 but is now "not that well placed to start another career."

The defendant, of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, had served in the Army for seven years, including three years in Northern Ireland, before joining Thames Valley Police in 2004 and then the Met Police in 2009 where she became a CID detective in 2012.

But the judge continued: "It seems to me that having regard to all of the circumstances including the nature of this offence and also the character of the offender Miss Mackrell, that it is inexpedient to inflict punishment."

Mackrell began her campaign against Mr Brewster when she became convinced he was cheating on her with another colleague Jenny Devine, a fixation which later switched to another woman Genevieve Pereira.

Mr Brewster, an officer of 21 years, claimed the campaign of harassment went on for a year after the relationship ended, but reignited in March 2019 when she sent him a holiday brochure from a company they had used as a couple.

The court was told Mackrell did it to "run up a flag to say 'I'm still here."

He told of how the harassment left him paranoid and "messed up" – feeling the need to search his home room by room after coming home to check no-one had broken into.

Heather Oliver, defending, told the court that this was an "unusual" case, adding: "We do not have a woman who was on a campaign of harassment with premeditation or malice.

"We have a woman who was really struggling and was seeking help as these records show."

The defendant was cleared of stalking.

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