Retired headteacher stalked Exmouth waitress

12:05 29 July 2014

PETER FOREMAN

PETER FOREMAN

Archant

A Budleigh Salterton man who admitted stalking a waitress, following her around and breaking into her Exmouth home, has received a suspended jail sentence.

A retired headmaster from Budleigh Salterton who became obsessed with a café waitress showered her with gifts and broke into her home to steal photographs of her.

Married Peter Foreman developed a ‘creepy’ obsession for Helen Beer which led to him stalking her for six months in which he followed her around and broke into her home.

Exeter Crown Court heard he bombarded her with gifts worth more than £1,000, including bunches of flowers costing up to £190 each, Dior perfume, a Hermes scarf worth £290, and chocolates.

She kept the gifts rather than returning them and this fuelled his fixation, leading him to invite her on a trip to the Channel Isles, which she turned down.

Foreman became a daily visitor to Jotty’s Café in Budleigh Salterton where Miss Beer worked; he also watched her through the window.

The court heard Foreman’s obsession became more sinister when he went to her home in Exmouth, Devon, and got in using a key he found under a plant pot.

He took photographs from a kitchen drawer and used one to create a false business card in Miss Beer’s name which purported to show her offering escort services.

Married Foreman, aged 64, of East Street, Budleigh Salterton, admitted harassment and was jailed for four months, suspended for two years and ordered to receive two years supervision.

He was also banned from contacting Miss Beer, or going near Jotty’s Café, or her Exmouth Docks home.

Judge Phillip Wassall said he was mystified why a man with an exemplary record, who had devoted his life to teaching primary school children, should start behaving in this way at his age.

He said Foreman became “fixated” with Miss Beer and “showered her with gifts”.

Mr Gordon Richings, prosecuting, said Foreman went to the café as a customer over a three year period.

He said: “He appears to have developed an obsession with Miss Beer. The prosecution must stress that it did not develop into a sexual relationship. Miss Beer was never in a relationship with the defendant.”

Mr Richings added: “They used to chat but in her words, his attentions became creepy.”

The court heard how Foreman asked Miss Beer if she wanted to go horse riding with him or on a day trip to Jersey. He began lurking outside the café and she changed the locks at her home after realising someone had been inside.

The prosecution said Miss Beer continued to receive and accept gifts from Foreman for occasions – such as her birthday - but that appeared to raise his hopes and maintain his interest in her.

In March this year Miss Beer received a mock business card of an escort agency in the post bearing a photo of herself. It had been taken from her home.

She called in the police and officers found the stolen photos at Foreman’s home.

Mr Nick Bradley, defending, said Foreman had an exceptional record as a primary school head teacher.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 09:00

Supermarket giant Tesco’s plans for Budleigh have been opposed by town planners.

Read more
Friday, February 27, 2015

Work on the long-awaited cycle track across The Green in Budleigh Salterton is finally set to get under way later this year.

Read more
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Kirk Westaway, who has reached the international grand final of the San Pellegrino Young Chef competition.

An Exmouth chef, who now plies his trade in Singapore, is to take on the world’s best in a prestigious competition.

Read more
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Labour candidate Steve Race

Charity campaigner and former Red Cross worker Steve Race has been picked by Labour to contest the East Devon seat in May’s General Election.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder