Harassed woman 'looked like man's dead girlfriend'By Tim Harris
March 22, 2013
A MAN has been banned from going near an Aldershot woman’s house after staring at her through the window because she resembled his dead girlfriend.
Paul Durbridge has been given a restraining order to stop him going within 100 yards of Karen Homewood’s home in Lower Farnham Road, after continually looking at her.
Durbridge, 33, pleaded guilty to harassment without violence at Aldershot Magistrates’ Court on March 14.
Serena Edwards, prosecuting, said: “She reported to police there was a male who walked past her house every day, staring in at her through the window.”
Miss Edwards said the victim’s front window was just a few feet from the path, and Ms Homewood felt so uncomfortable she changed her entire routine, including where she ate her breakfast. Ms Homewood said his staring was deliberate, as he made eye contact.
The defendant’s activity took place between September last year and this February. Durbridge admitted he had looked through the victim’s window because she was ‘the spitting image’ of his girlfriend, who died last year.
The court heard about one incident where Ms Homewood claimed Durbridge stopped outside her house, touched himself in an inappropriate place over his clothes, kept eye contact with her and smiled. He denied doing this.
Magistrates also heard how in another alleged incident, Durbridge was seen hiding behind a bush, watching the victim. Again, he refuted this and claimed he had stopped by the bush and was trying to light a cigarette.
After his arrest, Durbridge told police that he didn’t drive so walked everywhere. He said he walked daily to a corner to meet his boss to be picked up.
Durbridge, of Stone Street, Aldershot, also pointed out there was a shop nearby, but Miss Edwards added Ms Homewood claims she never saw him carrying shopping.
The court was told Durbridge had no previous convictions.
Fiona Taylor, defending, described how the defendant had been with his late girlfriend for 12 years. She said: “He had, by chance, noticed that she [Ms Homewood] bore a striking resemblance to his ex-girlfriend.
“It was triggering memories for him. It is not a case of him peering in, it is a case of walking past, looking in. He accepts however, that with the benefit of hindsight, it would be something that she would find uncomfortable.”
She added: “He has said the last thing he wants to do is cause discomfort to somebody else.”
Miss Taylor emphasised that the defendant made no attempt to contact the victim. She also said Durbridge, who lives at home with his parents, had suffered family bereavements, aside from the death of his girlfriend.
In addition to the restraining order, chairman of the court Michael Cadge told Durbridge he was not to contact Ms Homewood directly or indirectly.
The defendant was also ordered to pay a fine of £110, reduced from £165 for his early guilty plea. He was also told to pay court costs of £60 and a £15 victim surcharge.