A STALKER used Snapchat to trace his victim’s movements in a case thought to be one of the UK’s first.

Craig Scattergood used the social media app to track exactly where his ex-girlfriend Millie Searle was.

The defendant, a chef, appeared outside of the 23-year-old’s workplace late at night. He also repeatedly turned up in public places where she was ‘by chance’.

Miss Searle said she was made to feel “intimidated and anxious” by Scattergood’s presence. He found his victim by using the ‘Snap Map’ feature.

Snapchat maps were introduced in June 2017 to allow users to share their location with their friends.

The app was criticised when it was first launched by child safety groups amid fears it would increase the rate of stalking and bullying. Each time the user logs into the app, it updates their location on the map.

Yesterday, Poole Magistrates’ Court heard Scattergood, 25 and of Southwood Avenue, Southbourne, used the feature during a nine-day period in February. He and Miss Searle had split up a month earlier.

The victim, who works as a barmaid at The Sandpiper in Christchurch, had attempted to block her ex-boyfriend on social media. However, she did not remove him from Snapchat.

Scattergood drove around on his moped outside the pub and on one occasion followed Miss Searle part of the way to Lymington.

The stalking only ended when Snapchat emailed Miss Searle and informed her that Scattergood had been checking her location “frequently”.

Reading out Miss Searle’s victim impact statement, prosecutor Richard Widley said: “He made me feel intimidated.

“I was confused because he always knew exactly where I was, I felt like I was being constantly watched.

I had to ask my colleagues to walk me to my car in case he was waiting to follow me.”

Nick Scannon, mitigating, claimed Scattergood should only be given a restraining order because the offence happened in February.

“There has been absolutely no contact between the pair since these incidents,” Mr Scannon said.

“At the time he was suffering from heartache and was angry.”

Scattergood was given a two-year community order, under which he must carry out 50 hours of unpaid work and attend a relationships course. He was also given an 18-month restraining order.