Violinist stalked for 14 years

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The Independent Online
THE FIXATED former lover of an orchestra leader who engaged in a 14-year stalking campaign was told yesterday that she must co-operate with psychiatrists or face jail.

Karen Cross, 42, of Southport, Merseyside, was convicted in May last year of threatening to kill the celebrated violinist Malcolm Stewart. She appeared before Liverpool Crown Court yesterday for sentencing after breaching a three-year probation order made by Judge Bryn Holloway. His order had banned any contact with the musician and prevented her from visiting his place of work.

But Nigel Beeson, for the prosecution, said that on 8 January members of staff at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall recognised Cross as she headed towards the auditorium. The court was told she had sought permission to visit the venue from an unwitting officer at a nearby police station. Judge Holloway said it was a "deliberate and cunning" ploy.

The judge discounted an immediate return to prison for Cross, who spent six months in custody while awaiting sentence, saying: "She is not at all a problem as far as anyone else is concerned, apart from Mr Stewart."

Cross, a former member of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, became besotted with Mr Stewart, 44, after what he described as a "brief fling".

She bombarded him with letters, phone calls and visits, and allegedly posted offensive packages, one containing excrement, through his letterbox. She also followed him to France, where he was co-leader of the symphony orchestra in Toulouse, and even caused the breakdown of his engagement to another woman.

Sentencing was adjourned for psychiatric and psychological reports.