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Fiona Bruce 'distressed by viewer harrasment'

BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce was harassed by a viewer who sent flowers and cards signed "your kingfisher and loving husband", a court was told today

Australian-born Peter Oakey, 51, of Brentwood, Essex, sent more than 20 cards to the BBC, referring to the 46-year-old television presenter as "my beautiful firebird" and writing "I love you Fiona", Basildon Crown Court heard.

Prosecutors said Oakey, who admits breaching a restraining order imposed in December 2008 after he admitted harassment, had a history of "conduct of a similar nature" dating back to 2002.

He had previously appeared in court after writing "offensive" messages to a number of shops, including Boots and Sainsbury's, a church, a hospital and a doctor's surgery, the judge was told.

The presenter had made a statement saying Oakey's behaviour left her "upset", "disturbed" and "distressed", the court heard.

Judge John Lodge said he was considering imposing a hospital order under the terms of mental health legislation.

He adjourned sentencing until October 7.