England

Rio Ferdinand: Manchester United star's stalker jailed

Susanne Ibru
Image caption Ibru was found guilty of harassing the England star and his family

A woman who stalked footballer Rio Ferdinand and his family has been jailed for 10 weeks and given a 10-year restraining order.

Susanne Ibru, 38, was convicted of harassment of the Manchester United and England star last month.

She was living in Peckham, south London, when she made a number of 400-mile round trips to the defender's home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, in 2010.

Ibru was convicted in her absence last month after fleeing the court.

She was arrested the following day at an address in Warrington and brought back to court.

The court heard that Ibru spat in the face of the arresting officer when she was detained.

On Monday, she pleaded guilty to assaulting the officer.

At Crewe Magistrates' Court, Judge Nicholas Sanders said police officers "did not deserve to be spat on" while carrying out their duties.

'Fantasy world'

Ibru's restraining order bans her from entering the village of Alderley Edge, approaching Mr Ferdinand or his wife, or attending any match or event at which the footballer is present.

Judge Sanders, sentencing, said he was "concerned" by Ibru's behaviour during her time in custody.

He said: "The pre-sentence report describes you as living in a fantasy world, unable to interpret social situations and boundaries.

Image caption Rio Ferdinand said he was left angry by Ibru's appearances at his home

"You display a predatory and manipulative lifestyle and try to deliberately mislead interviewers."

The defendant said she would be appealing against her sentence and, as she was led away, added: "I stick two fingers up at you."

During the trial, Ferdinand, 32, told the court how Ibru left him angry and fearing for his family's safety.

The court was told that she appeared outside his home on three occasions and demanded to speak with him.

Ibru, who denied harassment charges, represented herself during the trial and cross-examined Mr Ferdinand.

She told the footballer she had been to his home about four or five times over the past four years.

Simon Leech, defending Ibru - who has previous convictions for assault, public order offences and possessing an offensive weapon - described his client as an "accomplished athlete".

The court heard she harboured ambitions of becoming a sports agent and "bitterly regretted" struggling with the arresting officers.

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