Love-struck North Walsham woman in court for breaching ban on contacting former town curate

A love-struck woman who became obsessed with a Norfolk curate after he conducted her mother's funeral breached a restraining order, days after she was told to stop contacting him.

Maureen Peace, 50, became fixated with the Rev Keith Rengert, who she bombarded with letters, cards and gifts for two years.

In August, Norwich magistrates banned her from contacting the Spixworth rector, who was previously curate at St Nicholas Church, North Walsham.

The restraining order was imposed despite warnings from her solicitor, Michael Cole, that it would be 'setting her up to fail'.

Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday that Peace had sent a letter to the married rector days after she was sentenced for the harassment.

She admitted the breach on September 19, and was due to be sentenced yesterday, but judge Mark Lucraft decided to delay the sentencing for three months in the 'interests of justice'.

Jonathan Morgans, mitigating, said: 'I'm very concerned that such an order was made in the first place.

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'It came as some surprise that the restraining order was put in place in light of all that is known.'

Deferring the sentence, Judge Lucraft warned Peace she could be jailed.

Mr Rengert first came into contact with Peace, of Park Court, North Walsham, after her mother became ill and later died.

The phone calls and letters started after a meeting between the two about funeral arrangements in 2010.

The first letter stated: 'I would like to know you better, not like that!'

One of the letters was hand delivered and after that Peace called the rector at home and asked him to 'cleanse the house and come and see her'.

An answerphone message was also left on his phone, while his wife received a birthday card in October 2011.

On another occasion Peace turned up and gave Mr Rengert flowers.

There was further correspondence, including material containing 'sexual innuendo', prompting Mr Rengert to write to her to ask her to stop.

Peace did stop, but the communication started again and in November 2011 she was issued with a Police Information notice to stop harassing him.

But on Valentine's Day in 2012, Mr Rengert received four cards, including one declaring Peace's love for him.

It referred to him as the 'love of my life' and also stated: 'I will be your sweetheart if you will be mine, love from M.'