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Stalker working at The Farm House in West Malling planted listening device in victim's Maidstone home

A stalking victim found her home had been bugged after her ex, claiming to be from the Scotland Yard interrogation team, sent a chilling text revealing he could hear her laughing.

Tamas Harsanyi, who works at The Farm House pub in West Malling, engaged in “sophisticated” tactics which left his victim paranoid, because he was “so in love” and "addicted" to her, a court heard.

Tamas Harsanyi leaving Maidstone Magistrates' Court
Tamas Harsanyi leaving Maidstone Magistrates' Court

The 29-year-old who has worked at the High Street venue for eight years, admitted stalking which involved serious alarm and distress at Maidstone Magistrates' Court today.

Between September 11 and October 15, Harsanyi, of West Malling High Street, followed the 21-year-old victim, from Maidstone, on a regular basis and sent numerous messages to her and her relatives, including to her mum.

Barney Nickolls, for the prosecution, explained that Harsanyi sent the victim a text from an unknown number, which she later traced to the Met Police's headquarters.

After she and her friend started laughing about the message, Harsanyi sent another message from the same number asking “why are you laughing?”

Her suspicions raised, she discovered a listening bug under her sofa.

Tamas Harsanyi attended Maidstone Magistrates' Court today
Tamas Harsanyi attended Maidstone Magistrates' Court today

Using number masking technology, which he paid for, it appeared the victim's father was calling her, rather than Harsanyi.

In an impact statement the victim, who met Harsanyi whilst working as a barmaid at The Farm House, said that night time now makes her jumpy and she has to check if Harsanyi is outside.

She said the experience has made her “very paranoid” and she is worried about Harsanyi’s “unpredictability”.

Probation service officer Matt Morrish said: "He repeatedly tells me he was so in love with the victim that he wasn't able to accept the relationship was over. He said he was addicted to her. He does present as being remorseful and regretful."

Keith Middleton, for the defence, said Harsanyi was very keen for the relationship to succeed and he felt very “protective” towards her.

He said: “My client has no intention to resume the conduct. He said he had no intention to cause alarm or distress, but he accepts his conduct with her would have done so.”

The bar worker has made no attempt to contact the 21-year-old since the police were called.

He is now in a three-month relationship with another woman, which began only weeks after he stopped stalking the victim.

Chairman of the bench, Anthony Beresford, said Harsanyi's behaviour was “persistent” and “sophisticated”, because it involved the use of devices to disguise numbers.

Harsanyi was sentenced to 84 days in prison, suspended for 12 months. He was ordered to complete 20 days of a rehabilitation course and given a restraining order, to prevent him contacting the victim or going near her address. The restraining order will last for two years.

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