Jilted lover targeted family

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The Independent Online
A jilted lover was warned yesterday he faces a substantial jail term for an obsessive terror campaign against his teenage ex-girlfriend and finally setting fire to her parents home.

Gemma Jones, 18, a magazine sales executive, and her family became victims of Anthony King's psychological stalking - fuelled by his fury after she ditched him following a two-year relationship. Both her mother and father have since suffered breakdowns, an Old Bailey court was told.

The 25-year-old former DJ bombarded Miss Jones with phone calls, vandalised her father's BMW, sprayed graffiti over their porch and posted pornographic photographs of her at a railway station and on a tree. He claimed her parents were colour prejudiced, which they denied. He told police he wanted "to have a pop" at them before going to Australia, because he felt they did not like him because he was black.

In August last year, under cover of darkness, he stole into the garden of their home in Kingswood, Surrey, with a can of petrol and set fire to a pile of garden furniture next to the house. The family were alerted by their dog. The blaze damaged walls, guttering and windows.

King, from Sutton, Surrey, admitted causing damage, displaying the photographs and arson, but denied recklessly endangered life with the fire. He was formally found not guilty on that charge after a report in The Daily Mail included inadmissible details which the jury had not been told. The paper, which apologised, faces being referred to the Attorney General.

King was remanded for psychiatric reports with a warning from the judge that he faces "a substantial prison sentence".