THE identity of a man handed what is believed to be the first ever stalking protection order (SPO) has been revealed.

The order bans 22-year-old Connor Evans, from Lancing, from contacting a woman in her early twenties.

Sussex Police are thought to be the first force in the UK to have made an application for the newly-introduced measure over a man’s “alleged online stalking of a woman”.

Brighton Magistrates’ Court granted the order on Monday morning within hours of the rules coming into force.

Court records of the hearing, obtained by the PA news agency, reveal the identity of the man made the subject of the order and details of the allegations against him.

According to the court files, the alleged offence and the request for the order was on the basis that he was said to “pose a risk associated with stalking to another person and there is reasonable cause to believe the proposed order is necessary to protect another from such a risk”.

Allegations included that he sent Facebook messages to the woman saying he wanted to meet her, tried to contact her by several other social network sites as well as by phone and went to an address, the records said.

The court granted the civil order, which lasts indefinitely until a further order is made.

It prohibits him from: contacting the woman directly or indirectly, by whatever means; sharing or posting any photograph of her on the internet, social media or in any public place; sharing or posting any photograph of her to any other individual.

He is also banned from visiting or travelling to the area where she lives unless he notifies police at least three days before.

Anyone who breaches an order could be jailed for five years.

The man was present in court and did not contest the application, police said.

A criminal investigation is ongoing and no charges have been brought, a force spokesman added.

Under the new rules, officers can apply to magistrates for an SPO, blocking alleged perpetrators from contacting or approaching their alleged victims while a probe into their behaviour continues.

Campaigners and victims welcomed the news but warned orders would only be effective if action was taken quickly, and said many people still do not understand the dangers of stalking.

The measures have been introduced in a bid to act at “the earliest opportunity” to protect victims from further approaches and take tougher steps on stalkers.

The orders are usually in place for a minimum of two years.

Applications to the court are meant to be heard in public and the details of the order, once granted, are a matter of public record, according to the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice.