A STALKER who bombarded a BBC news presenter with dozens of ‘disgusting and frightening’ greetings cards has been jailed.
Gordon Hawthorn, 69, admitted stalking Alex Lovell of BBC Points West in Bristol by sending 38 cards.
The cards often featured animals on the front and were at first signed ‘Gordon’ with five crosses. But they became more sinister and ended with ‘your stalker’ and ‘your soon to be rapist’. Judge Martin Picton told Bristol crown court Ms Lovell, who once hosted Brainteaser on Channel Five, was made to feel ‘disgusted, frightened and miserable’.
Hawthorn started writing to the presenter in 2012. She contacted police in 2016 after he wrote that his New Year’s resolution was to have sex with her ‘even if it means I have to rape you’. He was arrested last March after police published images of the cards and his handwriting was recognised.
Hawthorn, of Street, Somerset, told police he never meant to harm Ms Lovell and said his threats were a ‘fantasy’. He sent her an apology card, calling himself ‘a stupid old fool’.
Jailing him for two years and six months and imposing a restraining order, Judge Picton told him: ‘The fact someone has a high public profile does not mean that it can be open season for people such as yourself.’
Afterwards, Ms Lovell, 45, appealed for stalking victims to speak out. She added: ‘The nightmare is finally over and I’d like to thank my friends and family, BBC colleagues and police for all their help and support.’