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

06:30

An application to build five houses on agricultural land in East Budleigh looks set to get the go-ahead.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:13

Photographers have been capturing the first frost of the season.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:57

Visitors looking to do Christmas shopping can benefit from cheaper parking in East Devon, thanks to a returning offer from the district council.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:41

A serial burglar from Lympstone has been given a chance to overcome his drug habit and warned he faces a five year jail term if he fails.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

A Royal Navy officer made a return to her old stomping ground to present Exmouth’s Sea Cadets with their latest award, writes Daniel Green.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

The closure of a mineral processing plant in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) could mean 140 fewer HGVs a day travelling across Woodbury Common.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

Lympstone residents have accused Devon County Council (DCC) of ignoring the village during the Dinan Way extension consultation process.

Read more
Thu, 16:59

‘Any positive ideas are seriously compromised by austerity agenda’ - Sidmouth nurse and steward for the trade union

Read more
Thu, 12:30

Exmouth planners have backed the refurbishment of an iconic town centre building – with opposition to the scheme described as ‘hogwash’.

Read more
Thu, 10:00

It wasn’t so much Black Friday as Purple Friday when volunteers turned out to plant crocuses in Exmouth for a charity project.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 3°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications