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Craig David fan challenges contact ban after claiming she was his girlfriend

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An obsessive Craig David fan who stalked the star for five years because she thought she was his girlfriend wants to challenge a court order banning her from contacting him.

Tanya Jeal, 31, from Orpington, was banned from contacting the '7 Days' star by Highbury Corner Magistrates Court under the terms of a Stalking Protection Order.

Craig David.Picture: Phil Lee
Craig David.Picture: Phil Lee

An earlier hearing was told that Jeal, an author, turned up at the singer's home and repeatedly buzzed his intercom system while holding up a picture of the pair taken more than five years ago.

It is claimed she contacted the 40-year-old musician's parents, booked into the same hotel as him and stood still at the front of the stage during a recent gig while holding up the same photo of the pair.

Mr David said she once posted 'I know you love me' on Snapchat and even used fire exits to reach his hotel room and obsessively bang on his door.

She also bombarded his management team with abusive messages, comparing her situation to Britney Spears' conservatorship.

Court documents stated: "The harassment and stalking began in 2016 when Mr David became aware of a fan who was obsessed and infatuated with Mr David.

Tanya Jeal from Orpington has appealed her restraining order against Craig David
Tanya Jeal from Orpington has appealed her restraining order against Craig David

"Jeal would refer to Mr David as her boyfriend on social media despite him not being.

"Mr David could see from social media that she would be staying at the same hotel as him waiting for him to leave and arrive daily.

"Mr David explains that Jeal would use false pretenses and go through fire exits to get to his hotel room, where she would repeatedly knock on his door with no invite or consent to do so.

"She posted a note under his door saying, 'I hope Budda deals with liars like you, Budda will take this from here, you are an ********, from Tanya, your girlfriend.'

"Jeal also took a picture of his room and sent it to him on SnapChat. She said on Snapchat 'I know you love me'.

Mr David has been left distressed and "quite emotional" about the situation
Mr David has been left distressed and "quite emotional" about the situation

"In November 2021, Mr David performed a concert in Bedford and explains that Jeal was in the front row and stood motionless for the whole show wearing sunglasses and holding a picture of herself and Mr David from 2016.

"Mr David says he got this picture with her so he could show security who it was.

"Later that month she turned up at his address unannounced and rang an intercom system repeatedly whilst holding up a picture of herself and Mr David.

"After leaving the address, she then went back a second time later that day to again call the intercom system repeatedly.

"Aside from this, Jeal sent abusive messages to Mr David's management team as she believes she is under a similar control to that of Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse.

"There is reasonable cause to believe you 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."

Appearing at the same court via video link from her suburban home in Orpington on Thursday she told a District Judge that she wants to challenge the order, which is a civil matter, but did not lay out clear reasons why.

The court heard she suffers from physical and mental health problems, but they were not laid out in further detail.

She wants to call the musician, who did not attend the hearing, as a live witness when she challenges the order at a court hearing, for which a date was not set.

Flora Curtis, representing the Metropolitan Police, said the singer does not need to be called as a witness as all his evidence is contained in a statement.

She said: "He would be very distressed and find it quite emotionally difficult to be in the same room as her and particularly being asked questions by her."

The prosecutor and lawyer Robert Kain, who did not formally appear on behalf of an unrepresented Jeal, spent the rest of the 20-minute hearing dealing with administrative matters, setting dates for witness statement bundles to be served.

District Judge Alexander Jacobs said another case management hearing will take place on 12 March, and no date for the full hearing was set.

As the hearing was about to close, Jeal, without consulting lawyers, tried to get reporting restrictions imposed. But that bid was immediately rejected by the judge.

David, who is a judge on ITV talent show Walk The Line, received an MBE from Prince Charles for services to music on the same day the order was imposed last month.

He became famous in 1999 after appearing on the single Re-Rewind by Artful Dodger.

The following year he released his debut album Born to Do It, which sold 7.5 million copies worldwide and became one of the best-selling albums from a British R&B artist of all time. The Southampton-born star has since released five more albums.

Jeal has written a novel called Trophy Hunting, It's Killing Business.

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