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Martin Shaw 'stalker' convicted

PUBLISHED: 09:33 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 12 July 2010

Sandra Price leaving King's Lynn Magistrates.

Sandra Price leaving King's Lynn Magistrates.

Television star Martin Shaw last night said justice had been done after seeing his stalker convicted of a five-year campaign of harassment - then added that he hoped she would be able to move on in life.

Television star Martin Shaw last night said justice had been done after seeing his stalker convicted of a five-year campaign of harassment - then added that he hoped she would be able to move on in life.

The Judge John Deed actor looked relieved as he left King's Lynn Magistrates Court and said he hoped Sandra Price would find peace following yesterday's guilty verdict.

Shopkeeper Price, 66, also from Hingham, began writing to Mr Shaw after his marriage to TV presenter Vicky Kimm broke up in 2005. But the letters became increasingly offensive and Price began appearing outside the homes of Mr Shaw and his partner Karen da Silva in Hingham.

And delivering his verdict, district judge Tim Daber praised his onscreen counterpart's “meticulous” evidence. Of Price, he added: “I am not convinced that all these explanations are wholly truthful.”

Speaking outside court the 63-year-old actor said: “I am happy it's over. I thought it was conducted fairly and diligently on both sides. I think justice was done. I hope that this ends now and Mrs Price finds some peace.”

Asked by the EDP whether he intended to remain in Hingham following his ordeal, he added: “I don't know.”

Price, who originally came from Settle, North Yorks, moved to the village in August 2006 and opened a craft shop in the village.

She hand delivered a 45-minute tape to the actor's house and left him a 120-page dossier detailing his movements, explaining her behaviour and threatening to kill herself in his garden.

Yesterday she told the court that she wanted to help Mr Shaw by giving him “healing”. When the trial opened on Tuesday she denied harassment but admitted causing criminal damage by pouring petrol through Ms da Silva's front door.

But under cross examination, she admitted collecting and keeping personal information about the couple, including the Land Registry deed to Ms da Silva's house.

And in the 120-page document, which she called The Chronicle, Price admitted she “wanted to get under his skin enough for him to be curious about her”.

In another extract read out in court, a person referred to in the third person as The Woman said she would drive to Hingham, go to Martin Shaw's Garden, wrap herself in a sleeping bag and take an overdose of painkillers. Price agreed she was The Woman.

Robert Warner, prosecuting, told her: “I suggest you have developed an unhealthy interest in Martin Shaw and his personal life and also the personal life of Ms da Silva.”

Price was warned to stop contacting Mr Shaw after the actor complained to the police in November 2005.

Police arrested her after petrol was poured through Ms da Silva's letterbox last July. PC Mark Bandrowski said when he searched her home in Chapel Street, Price showed him bottles which had contained petrol, oilskin clothing and a lighter.

Price admitted pouring the petrol through the door. She told the court: “Someone told me that she had been calling me a stalker, Martin's stalker.

“I've always complied with whatever I've been told to do and I thought my name was blackened in the village. I was angry.

“It's not a good thing to do I will admit but I became enraged.”

Extracts from letters Price sent Mr Shaw were read out in court. One said: “Please don't regard this letter as an invasion of your privacy (although it is).” She signed another from Sandra The Crackpot.

Price said she had not deliberately set out to pass Mr Shaw's house or Ms da Silva's property, but she loved to walk long distances around the village.

In his summing up Chris Brown, defending Price, said: “You may well conclude her beliefs are somewhat stage. You may well conclude as she herself said she could be termed eccentric.”

After retiring for almost an hour, Judge Daber returned a guilty verdict.

“There are some worrying aspects to this case - not least pouring petrol through the letterbox,” he told Price.

“I'm quite satisfied that this was a part of a sustained course of conduct and not part of an isolated incident.”

Price will be sentenced on January 28. An application was made for £800 towards prosecution costs and a restraining order to be made banning her from the streets where Mr Shaw and Ms da Silva live.

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