A viewer who harassed BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce by sending flowers and cards signed "your kingfisher and loving husband" was ordered to be detained in hospital under mental health legislation 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", a judge at Basildon Crown Court was told during a hearing on September 29.
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, Judge John Lodge was told.
Bruce gave a statement saying Oakey's behaviour left her upset, disturbed and distressed.
Psychiatrists concluded that Oakey was mentally ill and suffering from "persistent delusional disorder".
Oakey had "delusions of passion" and believed that Bruce loved him and he loved her.
Judge Lodge said he was satisfied that Oakey was suffering from a mental disorder and satisfied that the "nature and degree" of the illness made compulsory hospital treatment appropriate.Reuse content