Woman who harrassed chef lived in fantasy world'

PUBLISHED: 10:47 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 May 2010

A WOMAN who was living in a fantasy world has been found guilty of harassing celebrity chef Steven Saunders. Dawn Shadrack, 45, of Ramerick Gardens, Arlesey, had pleaded not guilty to harassing Mr Saunders, of Ashwell. The pair had first met at a gym 15

A WOMAN who was "living in a fantasy world" has been found guilty of harassing celebrity chef Steven Saunders.

Dawn Shadrack, 45, of Ramerick Gardens, Arlesey, had pleaded not guilty to harassing Mr Saunders, of Ashwell.

The pair had first met at a gym 15 years ago.

In court in Cambridge on Monday, Shadrack, who was known as Dawn Connell before her divorce, maintained that she and Mr Saunders were good friends, although they did not socialise.

But Emma Dmitriev, prosecuting, told her: "You were living in a fantasy world.

"You even accept that he told you time and time again to go away."

Mr Saunders told the court that when he realised that Shadrack was turning up at the gym at the same time as him, he changed gyms.

He then began hearing from her again in 2003.

Shadrack bombarded Mr Saunders with telephone calls and text messages from early morning until late at night and turned up at his house several times.

In total she is thought to have sent more than 1,000 text messages and made hundreds of telephone calls.

The volume of messages would jam up his phone and one morning alone Mr Saunders received 80 messages.

When she turned up at his house on March 16 this year, Mr Saunders rang the police.

Shadrack told the court that she and Mr Saunders had considered dating each other but didn't because of her difficult divorce.

She also said that Mr Saunders rang her on Christmas Day last year and that she regarded him as "a close friend".

James Dignan, defending, said: "Love is blind and the penny doesn't always drop as quickly as it should.

"But the penny did drop when she went to his house and he said he didn't want anything more to do with her."

Shadrack was granted conditional bail and will be sentenced on Monday, December 11.

In the meantime she must not contact Mr Saunders, go to his home in Ashwell, or to his restaurant Sheene Mill in Melbourn, near Royston.

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