Stalker sent 800 letters to woman

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The Independent Online
A "smirking" stalker made a young woman ill with stress after bombarding her with 800 letters, a jury heard yesterday.

The obsessed Italian, Gaetona Constanza, 31, also made hundreds of silent phone calls to 21-year-old Louise Wilson, Luton Crown Court was told.

Miss Wilson's front door was daubed with paint and her car tyres were slashed during his 19-month campaign to get her to go out with him, said Amjad Malik, for the prosecution.

Mr Constanza's obsession began when he and Miss Wilson both worked at Vauxhall Motors in Luton. Miss Wilson said they had spoken only on the telephone yet he turned up and introduced himself at an evening class she attended. Days later, he stopped her in the street near her home and asked her out. She refused.

In one week, Miss Wilson received five bouquets of flowers containing cuddly toys. Mr Constanza wrote in a Christmas card: "When I said I loved you I meant it." But she sent it back, writing: "When I said keep away from me, I meant it."

Then, she said, he started following her home from work. "He had this... smirk like he knew how scared he was making me. I went to the police station and he followed me there."

Almost a year after his obsession began, Mr Constanza was sacked by Vauxhall for gross misconduct, but continued his pursuit, she said. In one day, 22 letters from him arrived by post at Miss Wilson's house, and he put letters through her door several times a night.

Miss Wilson, who was feeling "sick all the time" was referred to a psychiatrist who diagnosed clinical depression.

Mr Constanza has pleaded not guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm between 1993 and 1995. The prosecution claims his behaviour amounted to assault because it caused Miss Wilson's illness, even though he never touched her.

The trial continues today.