Friday, June 29, 2012
A North Walsham woman bombarded a curate with cards, letters and gifts when she became “fixated” with him after he conducted her mother’s funeral, a court has heard.
Maureen Peace, 50, of Park Court, appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court yesterday to be sentenced after previously pleading guilty to harassment without violence between July 1 2010 and June 2 2012.
Lisa Britton, prosecuting, said Peace met the Rev Keith Rengert when he presided over her mother’s funeral and became “fixated” with him, sending letters, cards and presents and even turning up at his home address.
She said: “It’s a very sad case but none the less a distressing period for the reverend. It’s gone on for a period of two years.”
Peace, who persisted with her behaviour even after she was warned by police, sent messages saying she was in love with him but knows she should not write to him.
Although there was nothing of a “threatening nature” in the communication Miss Britton said it was the persistent nature of the offence that had been causing distress to the reverend and his family.
Miss Britton, who urged magistrates to consider imposing a restraining order, added: “It’s unwanted. He’s found this extremely distressing as have his family.”
Michael Cole, mitigating, said Peace’s behaviour teetered into the realms of harassment although he did not feel Peace herself felt she was acting in such a way.
He said: “Maureen doesn’t see it as harassment; she’s merely expressing her regard and adoration to the person who is the subject of her letters.”
Mr Cole said he felt a restraining order would only “set her up to fail” and might only serve to shift her focus from one person to another.
He urged magistrates should instead consider imposing a community order with supervision that could be overseen by mental health professionals.
The case was adjourned until August 10 for further reports.
Peace was granted bail on the condition she does not contact, in any way, Mr Rengert or his family and that she cooperates with the probation service.