Don't miss a story sign up to Exmouth Journal's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

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

12:30
Hugo Swire MP was invited to open the new Pete's Dragon suicide bereavement charity head quarters in Exmouth earlier this month. Ref exe 24-16AW 0191. Picture: Alex Walton

A grieving mum has found hope through heartache by helping to create new headquarters for the charity that was there when she needed it most.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Evacuee Percy Cook (centre) pictured with Brian Curryer and Percy's sister Daisy Vickers.

A man evacuated to Exmouth during World War Two has returned to the town - and has struck up a friendship with another generation of the family which looked after him.

Read more
Fri, 16:12

Fly tippers could face fixed penalties of £400 under new powers approved by East Devon District Council.

Read more
Fri, 16:06
The Range is now open at Exmouth's Liverton Park much to Captain Range's delight. Ref exe 25-16SH 9725. Picture: Simon Horn.

Pictures of the new store

Read more
Fri, 15:21
Item stolen from a home in Exton.

Police are appealing for information after a burglary at a property in Exton.

Read more
Fri, 13:50
Ian MacQueen, chairman of Exmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 8104-47-11AW

The chairman of Exmouth Chamber of Commerce says businesses will want to see market stability and political clarity, after the vote by the UK to leave the EU.

Read more
Fri, 13:22

The chairman of Budleigh Salterton Chamber of Commerce has called on residents to support local shops, following the Leave vote in the EU referendum.

Read more
Fri, 12:30
Active Mums Cycling project

Mums in Exmouth are jumping on their bikes in order to encourage women to increase the amount they cycle for leisure and active travel.

Read more
Fri, 09:32
The EU Referendum results are in. Picture: AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

In the wake of Britain voting to leave the European Union this morning, the leader of East Devon District Council (EDDC) says he ‘trusts the electorate’.

Read more
Fri, 08:56
MEP Julie Girling.

Julie Girling and Molly Scott-Cato both released statements following the EU referendum result.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 15°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

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

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications