The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
20°C | 12°C
22°C | 12°C
23°C | 13°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Canterbury News Article
A creepy stalker who made the life of a promising Canterbury student a living hell has been jailed for four years.
Weirdo David Ward, 56, developed an obsession with Afua Boake-Ansah after spotting her in Dane John Gardens.
Despite being more than twice her age, he launched a two-year campaign of harassment.
Since then, 23-year-old Afua has had a personal relationship ruined, lost her job, been left fearing for her safety and wrecked her chances of getting a top degree.
Yet remorseless Ward claims he has done his victim no harm – but now a judge has ruled he does pose a threat to women and jailed him for four years.
Ward, of Summer Lees Cottage, Hernhill, had been sent to prison for 33 months in 2012, but was released on licence.
Within days of being allowed home, he was stalking the student again, Canterbury Crown Court heard.
Judge Adele Williams told him: "What you did represents the latest act in a campaign of harassment.
"Your victim has been left deeply shocked and traumatised.
"She has been left frightened, she has lost a relationship with a boyfriend and she has lost a job.
"You have shown not a flicker of remorse – you are just determined to do what you want to do..." - Judge Adele Williams
"And you have expressed the view that you have done this young woman no harm whatsoever.
"You have shown not a flicker of remorse – you are just determined to do what you want to do."
Psychiatrists have ruled the stalker has no mental health illness, despite his obsession.
Prosecutor Chris May said: "This man has for years now been pursuing a campaign of harassment on a woman many years his junior.
"He has come before the court on several occasions for stalking a complete stranger, who he came across in a street.
"She was walking in Dane John Gardens and was completely unknown to him. As a result, he started consistently pestering her."
Afua, a student at Canterbury Christ Church University, later revealed in a victim impact statement it had a detrimental effect on her life, even causing her to miss out on an expected 2:1 degree.
Mr May said that in January 2012, Ward was given the 33-month jail sentence and was released in August.
For three months he was forced to live in a hostel where he was being monitored, but he was allowed to return home in November 2012.
Mr May said: "Within days he was seen by Ms Boake-Ansah in a street in Canterbury.
"She was due to re-sit her exams on December 3, but the fact she saw him made her unable to take the exams.
"The following day she went to Canterbury East railway station and was sitting on seats in the booking hall, when Ward positioned himself quite deliberately on a seat right behind her."
The courageous student confronted her arrogant stalker, shouting at him: "Just leave me alone. I'm not in your way!"
Outside the station, she told him to leave her alone as Ward pleaded with her, saying "he just wanted a chat".
He was arrested again in January 2013 and returned to prison to serve the rest of his sentence.
Duane Bridger, defending, said Ward was infatuated with his victim and was diagnosed as "borderline low intelligence".
Click here for more news from Canterbury.
Click here for more news from around the county.