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Man who harassed trainee pharmacist at Boots in Bury St Edmunds given treatment order

PUBLISHED: 17:33 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:33 22 May 2017

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

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A man who became fixated with a Suffolk pharmacy worker and told one of her colleagues that he might “seriously hurt her” has been ordered to receive help for his mental health problems.

On one occasion the trainee pharmacy worker saw Steven Weinling following her home and managed to lose him by going into a supermarket car park, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

On another occasion she saw him in the grounds of the gated community where she lived and when he realised she had seen him he ran off, said Oliver Haswell, prosecuting.

Weinling also approached another member of staff at the Bury St Edmunds Boots store in her lunch hour and told her that he wanted to have sex with her colleague and was fantasising about her.

When Weinling was questioned about following the woman he claimed he had been playing Pokemon Go on his mobile phone.

Weinling, 28, of Bishops Stortford, admitted harassment between June and September last year and was sentenced to a two year community order with a mental health requirement.

He was also ordered to attend a rehabilitation activity requirement and was made the subject of a two year restraining order banning him from contacting the victim and banning him from going to Boots in Bury St Edmunds and going to Northgate Street and Station Hill in Bury St Edmunds.

Sentencing him, Judge Martyn Levett described his behaviour as stalking and said it would have had a substantial effect on the victim.

He said courts had a duty to protect victims of harassment, especially those working in High Street stores.

He said Weinling had followed the woman as she walked home from work.

“She didn’t know what might happen or how it might end,” said Judge Levett.

“She had to close her curtains and blinds for fear she was being watched.”

He said he found it hard to believe Weinling’s explanation that he had been playing Pokemon Go on his phone when he was following the woman.

Jamie Sawyer, representing Weinling, said his client had received treatment for his mental health issues and a mental health treatment order would help him get the treatment he required and help him to prevent reoffending.

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