`Secretary from hell' convicted

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The Independent Online
A WOMAN who hounded one of the country's leading criminal psychologists with hundreds of threatening phone calls was convicted yesterday under new anti-stalking laws.

Gillian Hartshorne, 50, referred to in court as "the secretary from hell", bombarded 54-year-old Professor David Canter of the Centre for Investigative Psychology at the University of Liverpool and his former research assistant, Dr Samantha Lundrigan, 28, with more than 500 threatening and abusive calls after she was not given a permanent job.

Hartshorne, of Great Sutton, Cheshire, faced three charges under anti- stalking laws.

Yesterday, a jury at Liverpool Crown Court found Hart shorne, who has two children, guilty of three counts of causing fear of violence. Sentencing was adjourned until 15 March for pre-sentence and psychiatric reports by Judge Duncan who said: "These two folk have been made the subject of real unpleasantness but ... mercifully, no one has been hurt in a physical sense."

In messages left on his home answering machine, she said: "You are responsible for my death because I cannot cope with what lies ahead. I want you to know you should be charged with manslaughter or murder ... all because you wanted a young department. I hate you. You will be sacked. Understand. Sacked. I'm going to ensure you are sacked."