Psychiatric hospital for man who stalked ex-councillor

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 July 2012 | UPDATED: 09:43 13 July 2012

Pauline Priestman

Pauline Priestman

Archant

A MENTALLY ill man who sent a former Weston Town Council leader a series of morbid letters and a DVD of Inspector Morse has been handed a hospital order.

Richard Glover, aged 71, started sending letters which described him and Pauline Priestman ‘being together in death’ to the mayor’s office just days after she was elected leader of the town council in May 2008.

Glover, who lived at Kismet Residential Home in Walliscote Road, Weston, was found guilty of harassing Mrs Priestman and another woman, Elizabeth Scott, who runs a newsagents in Weston, at a hearing at North Somerset Courthouse in December.

Despite the fact they had never met, the first letter sent to Mrs Priestman said: “The sun came out when I saw your face.”

He also described in the letters - six in total - about how he wanted to ‘walk through the pearly gates hand-in-hand’ with her.

His behaviour escalated in September 2008 when he sent her a bouquet of flowers and a card - as well as the Inspector Morse DVD.

Mrs Priestman said: “I felt instantly frightened as he now knew where I lived.

“The episode was about a number of murders. I was frightened as it was now personal.

“I now feel like a prisoner in my own home and I am very jumpy whenever the doorbell rings.

“It has left me feeling incredibly vulnerable. It has also put a huge strain on my family.”

Mrs Priestman described how she became a public figure when she was elected, with her face being put in the newspaper, which may have been where Glover first saw her.

She said: “I have gone from being a people person to having difficulty in the public eye.

“It restricted what I could do and what I now feel comfortable doing.”

She also said was frustrated with the legal system, with the case being adjourned 16 times between March and December 2011, with further adjournments after that.

Glover said in a statement made to the police that both women were ‘imagining it’ and they enjoyed the attention.

He was handed a hospital order at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday under section 39 of the Mental Health Act and will be detained in a psychiatric hospital.

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