Belfast Telegraph

Queen's University stalker accused of lying about ill son to get sympathy

By Chris Kilpatrick

A former Queen's University academic has appeared in court charged with lying about a sick son in a bid for leniency from a judge.

Dr Patrick Martens (35) was sentenced to five months in prison for telling his victim – a senior colleague – he intended to "slaughter" both him and his family during a lengthy campaign of abuse.

The hate campaign spanned from August 2011 to January 2012, during which he engaged in more than 500 explicit telephone calls, emails and letters, although he often used different names in a bid to hide his own identity.

The psychology research fellow pleaded guilty at Craigavon Crown Court in October to seven counts of making threats to kill and two charges of harassment, and was jailed for five months. Before sentencing, his defence lawyer told the judge his client's young son was desperately ill, and asked if he could be allowed to return to his native Germany to visit him.

Police now believe Martens has no children and fabricated the story in an attempt to dupe the judge – and his defence team – into securing a leaner sentence.

Martens – who is set to remain in prison until the end of this month – was charged with the alleged fresh offences on Thursday and appeared before Craigavon Magistrates Court yesterday. He faces five charges of perverting the course of justice.

No application for bail was made.

Martens was told he will appear before the same court next month.

Evidence produced by Martens' defence team during the previous case is now under investigation.

The then judge was shown letters, said to have been written by leading psychology experts in Germany, which deemed Martens as posing little risk to the public.

The letters were presented to the judge as proof that Martens was co-operating with medical experts and was desperate to address serious mental issues which had blighted him for two decades.

Ahead of sentencing, Martens was allowed by the judge to return to Germany after begging to do so on the grounds of his sick son.

That request was granted, to the despair of his victims, with Martens' sentencing put back to a later date in November.

Detectives from the PSNI are set to fly to Martens' homeland in the coming weeks to liaise with police there as part of their investigations.

His victims previously told this newspaper of the "horrendous" abuse they received which resulted in the academic taking early retirement from Queen's. These included telephone calls to his home along with emails and letters containing threats to kill.

Martens was arrested in England and brought back to Northern Ireland by police on New Year's Eve 2011.

In September of that year he had been barred from setting foot on the Queen's campus following a High Court injunction.

He was also banned from going within five miles of the village where his victims live.

STORY SO FAR

Patrick Martens was allowed to return to Germany before being sentenced after telling a judge his young son was critically ill. Evidence to the same effect was repeated on the day of sentencing in an apparent attempt to secure a leaner prison sentence. Used in his favour too were claims he had spent several months working with terminally-ill children. Martens, the court heard, was desperate to make amends for his wicked ways.

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