Retford man terrified women with romantic proposals

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A Retford man who plagued two women with romantic proposals and left them terrified had already been warned off by police, a court heard.

Christopher Stockdale approached one woman in her town centre office, on January 25, after she had reported him twice before, saying: “You’re lovely. We would be happy together.”

“She texted a colleague to come over and told him she had a boyfriend,” said prosecutor Kate Hartley.

When she tried to explain she couldn’t discuss non-work-related matters, he just looked at her blankly.

On a previous occasion Stockdale told her: “I love you, We will be happy together. You will want for nothing.”

“She said she was relieved that he had left but was extremely worried that he would come back a third time,” said Ms Hartley.

“She thinks he saw her sitting in a coffee shop earlier in the day.”

After the encounters the woman started locking the office door at lunch time and said she felt “extremely nervous” when walking to her car.

“She was never like this before and would happily walk anywhere. She would be constantly looking for him.”

On February 8, Stockdale approached another woman who works in a town centre cafe and said: “Are you all right to talk? I love you. I can’t stop thinking about you.”

“She was worried that he would follow her to her car,” said Ms Hartley.

The court hear the woman had been out with her young daughter when she spotted Stockdale, and she dashed into a shop to hide.

The court also heard he stole four cans of lager from Aldi, on January 2.

Fiona Davidson, mitigating, said he had been homeless at the time of the offences.

Stockdale, 34,of Jubilee Road, Retford, admitted theft and failing to comply with two community protection orders when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Wednesday.

District judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “This is a very worrying catalogue of matters. While I accept that Mr Stockdale has his difficulties I am more concerned to protect the victims.

“It seems to be you are hell bent on getting yourself admitted to prison. You are clearly not taking advice in relation to the matters before the court today.

“The victims who you are giving your unwanted attentions to must be terrified.

“One of the ladies has to text her boss and say that she has got to her car safely because she is so worried about your unwanted attentions.

“Were you charged with harrassment or stalking, which I believe you should have been charged with, I would send you to prison.”

Instead, Stockdale was fined £160 for failing to comply with the orders, and another £80 for the theft.

He must pay compensation for the lager he stole, as well as £85 court costs and a £30 government surcharge.

He was banned from contacting either woman, or going to their places of work, for five years.

“If you breach the restraining orders you run the very real risk of going to prison for five years,” the judge told him.