Love-struck woman from North Walsham who harassed a clergyman gets 12-month community order

Maureen Peace leaves Norwich magistrates court last year. Picture: Denise Bradley

Maureen Peace leaves Norwich magistrates court last year. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

A love-struck woman who became obsessed with a clergyman and breached a restraining order not to contact him, has been threatened with jail if she does it again.

Maureen Peace, 50, became fixated with Rev Keith Rengert, who she bombarded with letters, cards and gifts for two years.

In August, she pleaded guilty to harassment and magistrates banned her from contacting the Spixworth rector who was previously curate in St Nicholas Church, North Walsham.

But Peace sent a letter to the married rector days afterwards and she returned to court for breaching the order.

She was due to be sentenced in October, but it was deferred for three months to see if her behaviour improved.

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Peace returned for sentencing at Norwich Crown Court yesterday. The court heard that her behaviour since October had been positive.

Judge Mark Lucraft handed her a new 12-month community and supervision order with a mental health requirement, with the restraining order to remain in place. But he warned her that if she breached the order again she would go to jail.

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The court heard that Peace had become 'infatuated' with the rector and had sent him a card saying 'I love you' and had asked for an old-fashioned date.

The judge told her: 'I'm sure the rector only took action over the unwanted attention as a last resort. It must have caused a lot of stress to him and his family.

'But I hope the progress you have made will continue in the next 12 months.'

As reported, Rev Rengert first came into contact with Peace, of Park Court, North Walsham, after her mother became ill and later died. The phone calls and letters started after a meeting between the two about funeral arrangements in 2010.

On Valentine's Day 2012, Rev Rengert received four cards, including one declaring Peace's love for him.

It referred to him as the 'love of my life' and also stated: 'I will be your sweetheart if you will be mine, love from M.'

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