Harassment chef awaits court date

A CHEF has been remanded into custody after he admitted harassing an old school friend he met on Facebook.

Karl Cooper, 35, of Magdalen Road, St Leonards struck up a friendship with the woman who he had not seen since school.

Hastings Magistrates Court heard earlier this week he became so caught up with the relationship he moved down from his home in Blackpool, Lancashire where he had been living.

But after a few days the woman called off the relationship which triggered a change in Cooper’s behaviour.

The court heard how he bombarded her with text messages and continually turned up at her home.

The harassment came to a head in the early hours of Sunday morning when he turned up at the woman’s home and started shouting and banging her fence.

He was then arrested and taken into custody.

Cooper admitted a charge of harassment and was remanded into further custody to appear before Lewes Crown Court for sentencing at a date to be fixed.

Helen Constantinou, prosecuting, said: “He had not seen the woman since they were at school.

“He had moved to Blackpool and they started to talk to each other on Facebook.

“She had gone up to Blackpool and then he decided to move back down to Hastings where he has been staying with his father in law.

“But she did not want a long term relationship.

“They saw each other for 11 days. But it was clear to her that he was not behaving normally.

“He bombarded her with text messages and turned up outside her house. She ended the relationship but this exacerbated the texts.

“She just did not want any more contact. Matters came to a head at 5am last Sunday.

“He was shouting and banging her fence. His behaviour was out of proportion to the length of their relationship.”

Linda Kerry, defending, said: “About the end of July they started talking to each other on Facebook.

“She visited him in Blackpool on a couple of occasions. He made the decision to move back to Hastings. He thought the relationship was going well

“She helped him pack his belongings to move down.

“The relationship continued in Hastings. She met his children and he met hers.

“They both texted each other then about six weeks ago she decided she did not want a long-term relationship.

“Then about a week later she stopped all contact and decided she did not want to see him again.

“The texts he then sent were asking why the relationship was over. With this particular night last Sunday he had been drinking heavily.

The court heard Cooper had a previous conviction of causing grievous bodily harm to a police officer during a domestic incident in July 2010.

He was given a suspended sentence by Preston Crown Court and was now in breach of that offence.

Magistrates decided to send the case to Lewes Crown Court for sentence.