Lenny Henry's daughter sentenced for harassing ex-boyfriend

Image source, Tom Last
Image caption,
Billie Henry told police that her email account had been hacked

The daughter of Sir Lenny Henry has been given a suspended prison sentence for harassing her ex-boyfriend.

Billie Henry, 28, of Plymouth, pretended to be her father and sent "highly manipulative" emails that promised Samuel King up to £40,000.

She admitted sending electronic communications with intent to cause anxiety and distress.

Henry was jailed for eight months, suspended for a year, by Judge Simon Carr at Truro Crown Court.

The court heard Henry sent 185 messages to Mr King, from Dobwalls in Cornwall, when he tried to end their relationship after five months in October 2018.

Prosecutor Matthew Farmer said: "He wanted to end the relationship for a number of reasons including her suffocating behaviour, bombarding him with messages and not allowing him space or time for his son."

'Manipulative and threatening'

Henry proceeded to set up an email address using her comedian father's name to send messages to her ex-boyfriend.

In addition to offering Mr King money, the emails were designed to evoke sympathy for the defendant in order to rekindle the relationship, the court was told.

When Henry was arrested in February 2019, she told police that her email account had been hacked.

Defending, Jo Martin said Henry's adoption by Sir Lenny and Dawn French meant she had received publicity and attention "even though she has never sought fame or notoriety thrust upon her".

Judge Carr told Henry: "You were in a relationship with Samuel King and you found forming relationships difficult.

"When the relationship ended you found it difficult to accept and set up a number of false emails. You sent a barrage of messages, most manipulative and some threatening."

Henry was also given a five-year restraining order banning her from any contact with Mr King.

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