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Serial sex offender who ‘randomly selected’ woman he saw working in shop before subjecting her to a horrific stalking campaign is jailed


  • Mark Maxwell, 33, has a history of sex offences and breaching prevention orders
  • He stalked a shopworker in Cardiff city centre in a ‘terrifying’ three week ordeal

A crazed stalker has been jailed for two years after ‘randomly selecting’ a female shopworker who he subjected to a nightmare three-week ordeal. 

Sex offender Mark Maxwell, 33, set his eyes on the retail assistant in Cardiff city centre and began repeatedly turning up at her workplace and bombarding her with intrusive questions – leaving her ‘terrified’.

An earlier hearing at Cardiff Crown Court was told that Maxwell’s stalking spanned just over three weeks in June 2023. 

Prosecutor Matthew Comer said the victim was working behind the till of a store when Maxwell started approaching her. 

On one occasion he asked if she had a boyfriend or a husband, if she was on the pill, and if she was ‘any good’ at oral sex. He also told her he knew where she lived -correctly stating her local neighbourhood in Cardiff.

Sex offender Mark Maxwell, 33, set his eyes on the retail assistant in Cardiff city centre and began repeatedly turning up at her workplace and bombarding her with intrusive questions - leaving her 'terrified'

Sex offender Mark Maxwell, 33, set his eyes on the retail assistant in Cardiff city centre and began repeatedly turning up at her workplace and bombarding her with intrusive questions – leaving her ‘terrified’

A few days later the woman was listening to music on her headphones while walking in Church Street when Maxwell spotted her. 

She said in her statement: ‘I noticed he had turned around, looked at me, and started to walk in the same direction. It was clearly an intentional act as he turned round and made a beeline for me. 

‘When we were side by side he grabbed my right arm and squeezed with some force as if he was urgently trying to get my attention.’

The woman kept her headphones in and ran away. Four days later, she saw Maxwell again on her way to work as he said: ‘Hello stranger.’ 

The next day she had a text from a colleague who told her Maxwell had entered the store and asked for her.

In the final incident, the woman was working at the shop when Maxwell approached and said: ‘Hello stranger. I’ll see you soon.’ She called 999 and police arrested Maxwell. 

In his interview he admitted making sexual comments on one occasion and saying ‘hello’ on another but denied stalking. The defendant, of Mountjoy Crescent in Penarth, was later found guilty of stalking and breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

In her statement the victim said: ‘This incident has really knocked my confidence. It struck a nerve with my anxiety and has made going out into public really hard. I took time off work which has affected me financially. 

‘It has made me so wary of strangers and being on my own and out of the house. I feel I have to change my job and a large number of aspects of my life due to him. He has changed my life and that of my family.’

In 2008 Maxwell was locked up for 18 months for two sexual assaults and two attempted sexual assaults. 

Five years later he was imprisoned for 18 months after breaching a sexual harm prevention order four times. And in 2017 he was jailed for four years for two sexual assaults.

An earlier hearing at Cardiff Crown Court was told that Maxwell's stalking spanned just over three weeks in June 2023

An earlier hearing at Cardiff Crown Court was told that Maxwell’s stalking spanned just over three weeks in June 2023

The judge made a direction for a court-ordered psychiatric report and the case was then delayed for more than three months before Maxwell was finally sentenced on Monday.

During the sentencing hearing Judge Hopkins noted that the psychiatric report made references to Maxwell having ‘fixated behaviour’ but he added that there were ‘question marks’ over whether his mental difficulties had affected the criminal behaviour. 

Mr McQuillan-Johnson responded that his client had a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and had been ‘bumped between different practitioners’ in trying to get an autism diagnosis.

The barrister said Maxwell had ‘clear difficulties’ with social interaction and could not ‘interpret verbal and non-verbal cues’. 

He added: ‘It does appear that Mr Maxwell had an inability to form real adult relationships, which appears to have caused a significant level of frustration.’ 

He has been remanded in custody since June and studying maths and working in the servery. 

Passing sentence, the judge told Maxwell his ‘utterly inappropriate’ behaviour had caused ‘very serious harm’ to the victim and that there was ‘little suggestion of any remorse on your part or any empathy for your victim’. 

He added Maxwell was a ‘dangerous offender’ and passing an extended sentence was not met. He imposed a 24-month jail term, half of which will be served in custody, and a restraining order to protect the victim. Maxwell must also pay a £187 victim services surcharge.



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