Woman student 'stalking lecturer'

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A university lecturer claimed in court yesterday that he was being stalked by a woman student who believed he had "improper sexual desires" for her.

Dr Robert Fine, aged 50, is seeking a High Court injunction to stop Eileen McLardy bothering him at Warwick University and his home and is claiming damages for 140 listed occasions of harassment between 1994 and 1995.

Ashley Underwood, who is representing the senior lecturer in sociology, said the incidents began when Mrs McLardy was a part-time student at the university. She was also nursing a sick mother and a child and "it appears she came under a great deal of stress and got it into her head that Dr Fine harboured some sort of improper sexual desires towards her".

"This turned into a vendetta against him," he told Judge Thompson QC.

Mr Underwood said Mrs McLardy, 50, constantly paraded outside his house in Newbold Terrace, Leamington Spa, "with an eerie fixed grin on her face" until she had made sure she had been seen. He said Dr Fine's home was opposite aleisure centre where Mrs McLardy is a member and he does not complain about her right to be there. But it was the way she makes her way to and from the leisure centre which "makes his life so miserable".

"At work she has been standing and staring at him and follows him around the campus," he said. "We say it is deliberate contact designed to make his life miserable."

When asked about what she was doing, "she says it is a free world and she can do what she likes, and he deserves it because of what she said he did to her".

Mr Underwood said there had been attacks on Dr Fine's car which had been damaged or driven away on several occasions. "More eerie still is what happened to his house. On one occasion somebody got into Dr Fine's house and turned off the central heating radiators and left the hot tap running. Bizarre behaviour, we say."

Dr Fine is seeking an order from the High Court restraining Mrs McLardy, of Tile Hill Lane, Coventry, from molesting or harassing him and stopping her from approaching within 30 feet of his home. The case continues.