A court has refused to overturn a Haverhill man’s conviction for stalking a pharmacy worker.
On Monday Nigel Proctor, 44, of Girton Road, was told that his six week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, imposed by magistrates in April would also stay in place.
The decision to uphold Proctor’s conviction came at Ipswich Crown Court where details of the case had been heard by Mr Recorder Ian Glen QC sitting with two magistrates.
The court heard that Proctor’s appeal was against his conviction for undertaking a course of conduct amounting to harrassment against Kelly Shurety.
Proctor claimed that Mrs Shurety had been influenced by press reports of a previous court appearance he had made in connection with the stalking of a 13-year-old girl in the town when she made her own complaint.
Giving evidence, Mrs Shurety said that over a three month period Proctor had parked up to three times a week within view of the pharmacy in Norton Road, Haverhill, where she worked and often walked to the door to look inside.
On one occasion Proctor had been seen parked in a layby near her home, said Mrs Shurety.
Matters came to a head on November 30 last year when Mrs Shurety said she could see Proctor looking at her through binoculars as he sat in car parked on the roadoutside the pharmacy.
Mrs Shurety said: “I was so shocked because you don’t expect anyone to be staring at you through a pair of binoculars. I am still gobsmacked to this day that anyone would think it was OK to do that.”
As work colleagues looked on, Mrs Shurety said she went to Proctor’s car to confront im. She said: “He said ‘I don’t know what you are talking about. I’m waiting for my mother.”
Mrs Shurety said Proctor had followed her back into the pharmacy and shouted loudly at her: “You are bang out of order.” Mrs Shurety said she was both angered and frightened by the incident.
She reported what had happened that day and over the previous three months to police who stopped Proctor’s car and found a pair of binoculars in the glove box. In the boot was a length of rope, sticky tape, a hammer and clothing.
Mrs Shurety said that after police found those items in Proctor’s car she had been “terrified” and was having to move house.
Cross examined by John Livingston, representing, Proctor, Mrs Shurety denied thatshe had placed a “sinister slant” on his actions after reading about his previous conviction in a local paper.
Proctor, giving evidence, denied that he had been stalking Mrs Shurety and said regular visits he made to the pharmacy where she worked was to collect medication for his elderly mother.
Proctor said he had never used binoculars to watch Mrs Shurety and said claims that he had been parked ou tside the pharmacy up to three times a week were untrue.
The binoculars found in his car were used during the summer months to watch sporting events such as cricket and horseracing.
He said he had “no particular interest” in Mrs Shurety. Proctor said the hammer and tape found in his car had been used for decorating work, the rope was in case of driving problems in icy weather.