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Rio Ferdinand stalker jailed

A woman who stalked footballer Rio Ferdinand and his family was jailed for 10 weeks today and put on a restraining order for 10 years.

Susanne Ibru, 38, appeared at Crewe Magistrates' Court today after being convicted of harassment of the Manchester United and England star last month.

The defendant was living in Peckham, south London, when she made three 400-mile round trips to Ferdinand's home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, on February 21 last year, then again on June 16 and 18, her trial heard.

The 32-year-old footballer told the court that Ibru left him fearing for his family's safety by turning up at his home and demanding to speak to him.

Sentencing Ibru, District Judge Nicholas Sanders said he was "concerned" by the defendant's behaviour since she had been in custody.

He said: "The pre-sentence report describes you as living in a fantasy world, unable to interpret social situations and boundaries.

"You display a predatory and manipulative lifestyle and try to deliberately mislead interviewers."

On hearing the sentence, Ibru said: "I will be appealing against that."

As she was led to the cells, she added: "I stick two fingers up at you."

During the trial for harassment last month, Ibru represented herself and cross-examined her victim but fled the court during the lunch break.

She was convicted in her absence and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Ibru, of no fixed address, appeared back in court on April 20 where she was further remanded in custody.

The court heard that, on the day of her arrest in Warrington, Cheshire, she spat in the face of the arresting officer.

Today, Ibru, who was wearing a red skirt and beige jacket, pleaded guilty to assaulting the police officer.

District Judge Sanders said police officers "did not deserve to be spat on" when carrying out their duty.

The court heard that Ibru had ambitions of becoming a "sports agent" and Simon Leech, defending, said the she was an "accomplished athlete".

The court heard that Ibru, who has previous convictions for assault, public order offences and possessing an offensive weapon "bitterly regretted" struggling with the arresting officers and offered an apology in the police station for spitting.

She was made the subject of a 10-year restraining order banning her from entering the village of Alderley Edge, Cheshire, and approaching Rio Ferdinand and his wife, and she must not go to any match or event which the footballer is attending.