NORRISTOWN — An Ambler man who previously spent time behind bars for stalking an ex-girlfriend in 2010 was sent back to prison for electronically stalking another former paramour, including sending a bomb threat to the Bridgeport apartment complex where she lived.

Matthew Hairston-Johnston, 33, of the 400 block of Church Street, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 3 to 6 years in a state correctional facility on charges of stalking, bomb threats, criminal use of a communication facility, harassment and terroristic threats in connection with incidents that occurred between May and June 2018 during which he terrorized a Bridgeport woman at her home and workplace.

Judge Todd D. Eisenberg, who convicted Hairston-Johnston of the charges during a nonjury trial last year, also ordered Hairston-Johnston to complete seven years’ probation following parole, meaning Hairston-Johnston will be under court supervision for 13 years.

“She was terrified,” Assistant District Attorney Roderick McCord Fancher III said about the victim. “The motive was jealousy, his inability to let go.

“We were looking for a significant state sentence because he has a significant prior history and because the seriousness of his conduct was escalating and becoming more dangerous,” Fancher added.

The most recent stalking incident represented a violation of a 2011 sentence Hairston-Johnston received for stalking another former girlfriend in 2010 and he potentially faces additional prison time when he has a violation hearing later this year.

In April 2011, Hairston-Johnston, then 24 and of the 3800 block of Blair Mill Road in Upper Moreland, was sentenced to 2 to 4 years in prison and three years’ probation for stalking a Lower Merion woman who was a former girlfriend.

In the 2011 case, detectives alleged the victim received more than 600 harassing calls from a private number and 28 pages of harassing emails and faxes sent to her workplace, all linked to Hairston-Johnston. At the time, Hairston-Johnston admitted he was trying to scare the woman in an attempt to get her back in his life, according to court papers.

Court records indicate Hairston-Johnston was released from prison in that case in April 2013 and was serving the probationary portion of his sentence at the time of his latest arrest.

Hairston-Johnston did not testify at his most recent trial but the defense suggested he was not the person who committed the crimes.

“Imagine how terrifying it was for the woman to face her stalker after not seeing him for years,” said Fancher, referring to the victim’s trial testimony.

With the charges, prosecutors alleged Hairston-Johnston created fake Google accounts to use the email services to remain anonymous and used them to carry out the stalking.

“It was pretty sophisticated,” Fancher said about the scheme.

The most recent investigation began on May 10, 2018, when a Bridgeport woman filed a complaint with borough police regarding an incident “which was alarming to her,” Bridgeport Detective Bill Murphy wrote in a criminal complaint. The woman reported that someone using a fictitious email account sent her a message that indicated that person was watching her, had her new phone number, was going to visit her mother and added, “just when you thought it was over, we are watching you,” according to court papers.

The woman later reported that on May 14 she received two separate facsimile transmissions at her place of employment from fictitious email accounts as well as a typed letter at her Bridgeport residence.

One fax message read, “Careful today. I envision something exploding near you today. Not sure if it will be during work or out with your people. Just stay on your toes.”

Fancher said the woman’s employer had to increase security measures in response to the threat.

In the typed letter, the fictitious person made the victim aware that he knew where the victim’s mother lived and the letter added, “It was amazing how easy it was to ruin your last relationship. Now I see you have a new man. It’s crazy how much he looks like your ex. We will slowly take a good thing away from you. After this it will be your job.”

The woman received additional fax messages during the month of May, one of which read, “You will be getting a visit today no matter where you are. We are watching you,” according to the arrest affidavit.

On May 31, Bridgeport police were dispatched to the apartment complex where the woman lived for a report of a bomb threat. The threat was faxed to the corporate offices of the property owner, according to court documents. The fax read, “There are 4 bombs spread through the complex. You have 24 hours to find them until they go off. Time starts now. Good luck finding them. You can thank your tenant (victim’s name) for this. She will be your down fall.”

The apartment building in which the victim resided was evacuated as a precaution and authorities used bomb-sniffing dogs and a bomb squad to investigate the incident, during which no explosives were found.

In June 2018, the victim discovered that someone had accessed her personal email account and she continued to receive facsimile messages that were threatening in nature. The woman reported that the manner in which the messages were written and the language used, reminded her of her ex-boyfriend, Hairston-Johnston.

“Investigation into these various incidents discovered that the defendant was utilizing various online fax websites to send the faxes,” Murphy alleged, adding Hairston-Johnston also used two Google mail accounts using fictitious names to contact the victim.

Detectives linked internet addresses, related to the messages, to Hairston-Johnston’s Ambler residence.

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