Jail for Old­ham stu­dent who stalked class­mate

Tameside Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Todd Fitzger­ald

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‘DE­LUDED’ ob­ses­sive who bom­barded a uni­ver­sity class­mate with mes­sages and emails – de­spite her telling him to leave him alone – has been jailed.Lee Cluskey sub­jected the woman to a two-year or­deal, in which he re­peat­edly con­tacted her and fol­lowed her around cam­pus.

The 34-year-old met her on an un­der­grad­u­ate course at the Uni­ver­sity of Manch­ester in 2012 and quickly be­gan to hound her.

Cluskey, 34, of Mead­way, Chad­der­ton, pleaded not guilty to ha­rass­ment at an ear­lier hear­ing.

But he was found guilty at trial be­fore be­ing sen- tenced to 12 weeks in jail at Manch­ester Mag­is­trates’ Court.

Pros­e­cut­ing, Shilpa Chauhan told the court the woman be­came con­cerned about Cluskey’s be­hav­iour af­ter he ap­proached her dur­ing a sem­i­nar.

She said he re­peat­edly tried to sit next to her and talk to her, de­spite her re­buff­ing his ad­vances.

Ter­ri­fied, the woman was forced to miss lec­tures to avoid him.

Af­ter Cluskey found her on Twit­ter and Face­book, he started mes­sag­ing her, telling her she was ‘beau­ti­ful’ and that he loved her.

The woman even­tu­ally told ob­ses­sive Cluskey to leave her alone and threat­ened to call the po­lice.

She mes­saged: “I’ve no idea why you think we’re soul mates; you know noth­ing about me. Ap­proach me again and I will take fur­ther ac­tion.”

Un­de­terred, Cluskey made a num­ber of fake so­cial me­dia pro­files and con­tin­ued to mes­sage the girl, de­spite three sub­se­quent po­lice warn­ings.

The woman had to seek coun­selling from the uni­ver­sity and said Cluskey’s ad­vances be­gan to af­fect her work.

In a state­ment read to the court, she said she had to run away at the end of lec­tures to avoid him.

“I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced be­ing so ter­ri­fied of some­one be­fore,” she added.

Ms Chauhan said: “It’s deeply af­fected her, to the point that she can­not live her life. She truly fears him. He has an in­fat­u­a­tion with her that he just can’t let go.”

Cluskey, who rep­re­sented him­self at the hear­ing, said: “I fully ac­cept it went too far. I just got caught up emo­tion­ally in the whole thing; in lik­ing the girl. I never meant for any harm to come to her.”

Sen­tenc­ing Cluskey to 12 weeks im­pris­on­ment, Dis­trict Judge Mark Had­field said: “You are de­luded as to your re­la­tion­ship with this young lady.”

Cluskey was also was handed a re­strain­ing or­der, for­bid­ding him from con­tact­ing the woman or vis­it­ing the uni­ver­sity cam­pus.

l● Lee Cluskey has been jailed for stalk­ing a fel­low stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Manch­ester

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