John Mott, 68, of Lansbury Drive, South Normanton, left his victim Kayleigh Pell frightened and tearful after she received up to 20 unsigned cards for more than a year with messages that developed into a disturbing sexual nature.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, July 12, how Mott had been a customer at Jack Fulton Foods, at Alfreton, where he targeted duty manager Ms Pell between December, 2014, and February, 2016, until she feared she was being stalked.
Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “She stated how the last few cards left her really worried and she felt like someone was watching her and this made her upset and she was scared it would affect her pregnancy and her unborn child.
“The complainant became worried about walking to her car at night and it affected her work and she was watching people shopping thinking it could be them and when cars were behind her she thought it might be him.
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“She felt scared and when she had first started getting cards she accused colleagues and customers of sending them and was nervous when the postman arrived.
“When she became pregnant in the middle of last year she was scared for her child’s safety and her mum would walk home with her and she was crying and very distressed throughout her pregnancy.”
The court also heard how Ms Pell had been diagnosed with diabetes, suffered high blood pressure, her hair started to fall out and she had nightmares and was worried about taking her child out after the baby’s birth.
Mrs Allsop explained that Mott first sent Christmas cards in December, 2014, with five in the same handwriting, followed by three Valentine’s cards and a further ten cards.
The initial cards were signed “with love” and “with love and kisses” and, according to Mrs Allsop, the last ten or so cards were of a more sexual nature.
Mott told police he had sent the cards as a joke and estimated that he had sent about 20.
The defendant, who has 23 previous convictions including some for similar offences including a caution relating to a TV presenter, pleaded guilty to harassment.
Defence solicitor Kevin Gillott said that despite the fact the cards became progressively more sexual Mott is adamant that they were not meant in that way.
Mr Gillott added: “The complainant was kind to him when he went into the shop and that’s why he began behaving the way described.
“He is single and has an older sister who is not well and he’s quite a lonely man and he keeps himself to himself.”
Magistrates sentenced Mott to six weeks of custody and ordered him to pay £500 compensation.
He was also given an indefinite restraining order not to contact Miss Pell.