Three stalking cases which changed Preston women's lives forever

Alarming figures on stalking cases in Lancashire
Alarming figures on stalking cases in Lancashire
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These are the three stalking cases in Preston which changed women's lives forever


1. Tony Wood

In September 2017, Preston Magistrates’ Court heard how a psychiatric nurse stalked a female colleague after working with her her for two years at the Guild Lodge psychiatric unit in Preston.

Tony Wood, a married father-of-two followed his victim home and told her she needed counselling when she rebuffed his advances.

During a hearing, Magistrates heard that Wood initially came across as a kind family man, offering the PhD student extra shifts, lunch and presents, but his communication soon turned more sinister.

The then 62 year-old questioned her about her sex life, sent her inappropriate messages, visited her at work during his days off, turned up at her home and followed her.

During his 18-month stalking campaign, he would send her messages such as: ‘My mission in life is to get you to respond’, ‘I won’t give up’, and ‘I love you and miss you’.

When the 27-year-old blocked his number, he said she had a ‘personality disorder’ and needed counselling.

Wood, from Goosnargh, was handed a 76-day jail term suspended for 18 months, with a restraining order, curfew, rehabilitation activity and £500 compensation, after admitting the offence of harassment.

2. John Sanderson

In September 2018, dairy farmer John Sanderson, then 67 and of Fleetwood Road, Medlar-with-Wesham, admitted harassing his former flame.

Appearing at Preston Magistrates’ Court, he admitted attending her home and making phone calls to her.

She had a previous restraining order against him in 2000, but afterwards they had a brief relationship, the court heard.

The court heard the woman felt she could resolve the matter herself at first, but was left feeling like a “prisoner in her own home” and it had got to the stage where she could not stay in her own house without fearing him turning up.

3. Mark Anthony David Leggat

In December 2018, a man admitted stalking a Chorley woman by lying in her neighbour’s doorway so she had to walk past him, standing in front of her house, and sitting on a deckchair behind her house so he could see through her windows.

Mark Anthony David Leggat, of Cockridge Close, Blackburn, was given a curfew and restraining order.

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard he also attending her street on a daily basis to visit residents, and that his behaviour caused her serious alarm or distress, and had an adverse effect on her usual day-to-day activities.

The 36-year-old defendant was told to pay an £85 victim surcharge.

READ MORE: New measures introduced to deal with stalking