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A sick bloke pretended to be an undercover police officer to stop his girlfriend from leaving him.
And Ryan Greaves created a fake world of characters to help back up his claims.
Greaves was actually a street ranger in Newcastle at the time, but decided to impress his partner by lying through his teeth.
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The real-life Walter Mitty character sent the unsuspecting woman messages from random people allegedly working for MI5 and MI6 – all of which were fake.
And this week, Newcastle Crown Court heard how the woman, who believed the stories she was being told, was left living in fear, which was heightened when Greaves produced a realistic-looking weapon and ammunition.
Now the 26-year-old has been given a suspended prison sentence for engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour.
Prosecutor Neil Jones said: "The complainant tried to end the relationship on multiple occasions and the defendant told her he had a specialist role in a task force for the police.
"She knew him to be a NE1 street ranger.
“He said he was working undercover and had a half-sister who had died in the line of duty during a police operation and that she worked in anti-terrorism.
“He said the half-sister, Chloe, had a hidden hard drive which he needed to retrieve."
Manipulative messages then began from a variety of characters created by Greaves, with Chloe also being fictitious, the court heard – the victim got emails purportedly from a woman working for the police but who was actually Greaves.
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He wrote "tick tock, the time is ticking", supposedly a reference to the hard drive.
The court heard that while he never caused her physical injury, he "emotionally abused her".
In a victim impact statement, the woman said: “The past 15 months have completely changed who I am as a person.
“I was made to feel like I was crazy if I ever questioned a scenario we were in. I believed all the characters and felt I was living in some horrible world.”
Greaves, 26, of Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, who has no previous convictions and also worked as a door supervisor for bars and clubs in Newcastle, pleaded guilty to engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour.
He was sentenced to 12 months suspended for 18 months.
He must also do a "building better relationships" programme, complete a mental health treatment requirement and was made subject to a restraining order.
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