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Man’s delusional ‘fantasy world’ ruins victim’s life

PUBLISHED: 11:45 04 October 2018

The scales of Justice. Photo: PA.

The scales of Justice. Photo: PA.

Archant

A fantasist whose infatuation with a vet’s receptionist led to a harassment campaign deserved to be punished, senior judges have ruled.

Richard Brown, of Windsor Road, Reydon, was given a 12-month suspended sentence at Ipswich Crown Court in April.

The 49-year-old admitted acting in breach of a restraining order, Mr Justice Goss told London’s Appeal Court on Wednesday.

The appeal court heard that Brown’s victim first encountered him in 2011 when she was working as a receptionist at a veterinary practice.

In the months that followed, she became “unnerved” by the amount of attention he paid her. She often saw him sat outside in his car and waving at her.

In the years that followed, he persisted in his “infatuation” with her and his “unwanted attention and harassment” of her.

When she left her home in 2015 and moved hundreds of miles away in order to get away from him, Brown turned his attention to her friends and family.

He left a number of notes that were pinned to her mother’s gate, asking her to persuade her daughter to return and have a relationship with him.

Brown believed not only that they had had a relationship but that they had been engaged.

In fact, their contact had been limited to “polite exchanges” when he was at the vets.

In 2016, Brown admitted harassing the victim’s mother and a restraining order was imposed.

The victim had by then started a relationship and had a daughter.

She was “horrified” when Brown managed to track her and her partner down via Facebook, and claimed he was the father of the child.

While he was on bail for three breaches of the restraining order in August 2017, Brown was seen watching the woman in his parked car as the victim made her way to work.

Brown had been locked up for 12 months in October last year for the three previous breaches.

The impact of his offending on his victim was “grave”, and left her feeling “massively intimidated and threatened”.

She said that the “fantasy world which he had created had damaged her real world beyond repair”.

Simon Gladwell, for Brown, argued that his suspended jail term for the latest breach was too tough and should be reduced.

But Mr Justice Goss said: “We are unpersuaded the sentence was manifestly excessive.

“Brown’s offences and breaches of orders in their totality caused significant psychological harm to the victim and distressed members of her family.”

The Appeal Court did, however, reduce the 50-day rehabilitation requirement to 20 days.

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