A woman who appeared on the BBC’s Michael McIntyre’s Big Show has said she she is living in fear of her jealous ex-boyfriend after he harassed her following her TV appearance.
Singer Rachel Crowe, 26, was stalked and assaulted by her ex James Hall on the same day she became the comedian’s ”unexpected star” on the Saturday night programme.
On January 12, Hall approached Miss Crowe in a bar and followed her to her car where he grabbed her by the arm and pulled her to the floor. When she managed to get into her vehicle, he attempted to rip her wing mirror off and jumped on the car bonnet as she attempted to leave.
On another occasion, Hall, 25, from Bolton, Greater Manchester went to Miss Crowe’s home and woke her up during the early hours banging on the front window, begging her to take him back.
He also hounded Miss Crowe with 250 emails in just three days from different email addresses, one such being “[email protected]”.
In a statement to police Miss Crowe, a trained opera singer who also works as a choreographer, said: ”I feel scared and afraid to leave my house. I’m afraid of coming across the defendant whilst I’m out because of these incidents.
“He can be angry and aggressive. He could hurt me. I find his behaviour intimidating and worrying. As I am a singer, I am worried he could turn up as I’m working, which is what has happened on previous occasions.”
At Manchester magistrates Court, Hall, a former accounts student, pleaded guilty to assault by beating and the stalking of Miss Crowe. He appeared emotionless as he was handed a 12 week prison sentence suspended for 24 months.
Prosecuting, Carl Gaffney said: “The aggrieved Miss Rachel Crowe and the defendant were in a relationship for 12 months. She describes an escalation regarding his behaviour towards her, and she used words such as ‘jealous’, ‘bullying’ and ‘aggressive’ to describe his behaviour towards her.
“In October last year they split up. There were two sets of incidents. Firstly, there were hundreds of emails sent to the complainant from a number of different addresses which had been found.
“Some of them were made out to be humorous in an attempt to be playful, but this was beyond inappropriate. For example, one of the email addresses was “ [email protected] ”.
“It was a dull echo of what it was like when she could have been with him, it was described. The emails are benign. The emails became far more frequent as he asked to be taken back.
“His behaviour towards her showed that he talked about their physical tendencies. There were a number of incidents also.
“The aggrieved goes out on January 12th. She is out with a friend when he appeared in the same bar demanding to speak to her.
“He appears in front of her face. She manages to escape when her group go to a different bar. He followed her into the bar but he was refused entry to the establishment. She became successful in hiding.
“However, when she leaves to go to her car out the back, he grabbed her by the arm and pulled her to the ground. She managed to get up and get into her car and locked it.
“He then started trying to rip her wing mirror off before jumping on the bonnet of her car trying to stop her from leaving. He was taken off the bonnet by assisting people.
“On Janaury 15th the aggrieved was at her home address when the second incident occurred. He was outside her address uninvited and unsolicited. She was woken up by banging on the windows as the defendant attempted to gain entry.
“She was concerned about the noise so went to the front of her address and the defendant was there, begging to get in, but she refused. She remained at the front of the address and she phoned the police and texted her mother and told her she needed to come due to him being outside.
“The defendant then moved round to the back of the address and climbed into the rear garden where he continued banging on the rear door shouting at the aggrieved to let him in.
“The defendant was there for up to two hours before he left the address. The police did not come in that timescale. After being arrested, he made significant admissions and there was immediately no hesitation to guilty pleas. He is a man of a certain physical stature.”
The court heard Hall had previously appeared before magistrates in Cumbria last November for criminal damage after he had a bust up with Miss Crowe during a wedding.
A probation report compiled by an unnamed author said: “He tells me he didn’t pull the victim to the floor at all, though he did acknowledge jumping on the car bonnet when he thought she was going to drive at him.
“Regarding the texts and emails, he said he did make contact as described, but said the victim had sometimes responded to his contact and he said this caused him to make further contact. He used her response to his emails as justification for his actions without giving considerable thought for the impact on the victim.
“He said this was a turbulent relationship with the victim because of his alcohol misuse, caused by his difficulties sleeping. This was an angry reaction to the breakdown of the relationship. He kept his own thoughts above that of his victims. He would benefit from intervention to address the offending of this nature.”
Hall’s lawyer Nick Ross said: “He recognises this is over and it’s sensible for this to be over. Regarding the conviction for criminal damage, he ‘kicked off’ at a wedding whilst in drink. He caused some damage to some items at the wedding. He found himself homeless after a fall out with his father.
“His behaviour was very persistent, but only over a few days. It was not his place or position to place his arm out to restrain her, it was a little more persistent on the arm of the complainant. He did do that and recognised he was overstepping the line. This assault was not a punch or a kick or a slap.”
Hall was also ordered to complete a two year community order, pay £200 costs and he was ordered to engage in a ”Building Better Relationships” programme.
Sentencing Deputy District Judge Thomas Moran said: “You have clearly got a problem with relationships and you have come close to receiving a prison sentence judging by the way you pursued your former partner who is clearly terrified of you.
“I order for there to be no compensation offered – that is the last thing she is interested in. What she wants you to do is leave her alone, if you don’t you will find yourself back here and going to prison.”
Hall was also made subject of a restraining order for five years, which prohibits him from making any contact with Miss Crowe or attending her address.
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