A pensioner stalked a woman he met at a Christian function, sent unwanted letters and gifts to her home and even phoned her workplace in a bid to seduce her.
Jacques More, from Tonbridge, became fixated with Hannah Spires whom he had met just once in Northamptonshire after attending a special church service there.
The 65-year-old committed Christian had bumped into her and her parents at the service and had told the trio he was in the area after arranging a date with a woman he had been talking to on a Christian dating website, but she had failed to turn up.
After hearing he had been stood up, Miss Spires’ parents invited him to their home for lunch after the service and he accepted.
However, Miss Spires had an uneasy feeling about him, and his conversations towards her as they ate with her parents left her feeling uncomfortable.
After the meal was over, More left their home but just days later a bouquet of flowers turned up at their Northamptonshire address. They had been sent by More, with a note thanking them for their hospitality.
A couple of days later, More sent a letter to Miss Spires via her parents’ address. In it he told her he had enjoyed their conversations and he wanted her to become his life partner.
He asked her to contact him on the phone number or email address he had provided.
Miss Spires didn’t respond to his letter as she was shocked by it, but did pass it to the police.
However, before police could act on the information, More had carried out some internet searches on Miss Spires and had found out where she worked. He started calling her workplace, asking colleagues for information about her.
He made a least two calls there and then a letter addressed to “beautiful Hannah” and a box of chocolates turned up for her, along with a picture of More with his mother.
Police were contacted again and More was interviewed over the incidents. His home was searched and images of Miss Spires, which he had managed to find on the internet, were found on his mobile phone.
Her work phone number and her parents’ home telephone number were also found as contacts in his phone and his call log revealed he had tried to call the numbers at least five times.
His internet search history showed he had made 49 searches between August 8 and August 21, 2022, on locations near her home and work.
More, of Pembury Road, Tonbridge, was charged with harassment and stalking between August 11 and 24, 2022 but denied the allegations.
He stood trial over the matters in front of magistrates on September 7 this year and was found guilty of both charges. Sentencing was adjourned for a pre-sentencing report.
He returned to Maidstone Magistrates’ Court on November 21 where District Judge Stephen Leake heard the incident had left Miss Spires feeling sick.
James Nichols, prosecuting, said: “When she met him she felt uncomfortable, not by what he said, but by the way he said it. She was relieved when he left [after the lunch].
“Then the flowers turned up and that too left her feeling uncomfortable, and then the letter came and it had her surname on it. That left her feeling sick and she felt it was creepy."
Mr Nichols also said she realised More must have carried out internet searches to find her workplace as she had never told him where she worked nor what her surname was.
He added: “Then the parcel turned up and she just wanted it to stop.
“She didn’t know what could happen and she has changed her behaviour and now doesn’t sleep at night with the window open, and locks her door. She will no longer go into the garage when it is dark.”
The prosecutor also told Judge Leake More had been convicted of a similar offence in 2008 when he was convicted of harassing another woman and that he’d also breached a restraining order he’d been given in respect of that conviction.
Mr Nichols said he also wanted to apply for a restraining order in this case to prevent More from contacting Miss Spires again.
Judge Leake heard More was a committed Christian, but had gone about contacting Miss Spires in the wrong way and that, in fact, the bouquet of flowers had been addressed to Miss Spires’ mother.
Judge Leak told More he should have known better than to harrass Miss Spires as he had been convicted of harassment in 2008 and that he had become fixated with her and that his actions had been unwelcome.
He added: “The impact your conduct had on her left her feeling uncomfortable and she felt more and more uncomfortable as you persisted to try and contact her.
“There was a level of sophistication, as you didn’t know her workplace or her surname and she wanted it to stop.
“She now locks doors and she has suffered some emotional stress. It’s had an impact on her, but not a serious psychological effect on her.
“This [crime] is aggravated by your previous conviction – you should have known your conduct was unwelcome.”
Judge Leake placed More on an 18-month community order which will see him complete 35 rehabilitation sessions and 120 hours of unpaid work and he was also ordered to pay £620 costs and a victim surcharge of £114.
He also issued a restraining order for three years banning More from contacting Miss Spires or going to the village of Polebrook or the town of Oundle in Northamptonshire.