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Man harassed chapel goer

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: September 27, 2012

A ST JUST man who believed he would marry a woman he met at chapel has pleaded guilty to harassing her, Truro Magistrates' Court has heard.

Samuel Lewis repeatedly banged on the door of his victim and even turned up at her workplace.

The 36-year-old from Tregaseal, St Just, admitted harassing Helena Stephan between August 26 and 28 after being given a harassment order not to contact her.

"I just want him to leave me alone," said Ms Stephan to the police.

"I often wonder when the next incident will happen. I feel sometimes that this is never going to stop," she told the police.

Alison May, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said that Lewis had been given the harassment order after Ms Stephan reported his persistent and unwanted contact.

The court heard that she had met him through the chapel they both attended and would describe him as an occasional acquaintance, not a friend.

"He has a belief that one day they will marry, but Ms Stephan repeatedly told him that would not happen," said the CPS representative.

The court heard that on June 29 he banged on her door, shouting abuse at her, which led to the harassment warning by the police.

On August 27 he was again at her address banging on the door, returning later that same evening after she did not answer the first time.

He left when she said she would call the police.

The following morning she went to work, where Lewis turned up and said he wanted to see her.

The defendant has previous convictions for battery and drink-related matters, the court heard.

Ms Stephan, said Ms May had been left unable to sleep and had stayed off work because of her distress.

Community psychiatric nurse Bill Trotter said Lewis had been seen by a number of people who had found him more and more puzzling to figure out.

He was now due to see Cornwall's top expert in the field in an attempt to get to the bottom of his problem, which is said to be worsened by alcohol.

Magistrates heard the defendant had approached psychiatrists in London himself about his condition.

Graham Calderwood, solicitor for Lewis, told the court he had made arrangements to go to a different church.

Chairman Tony Woodhams told him: "Things cannot go on as they are.

"You cannot go on bothering people at work or at home and it has got to stop."

The magistrates handed down a restraining order preventing Lewis from any contact with Ms Stephan, or attending her home in Chapel Street, Penzance, and not to attend her place of work. He was also given a conditional discharge for a year.

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