Christine Lampard's stalker Christof King sentenced

Christine Lampard Image copyright PA
Image caption Christine Lampard said the "disturbing" tweets caused her so much concern she showed them to her husband

A stalker has been sentenced for bombarding TV presenter Christine Lampard with tweets which referred to her "gravestone" and "crucifixion".

Christof King, 39, also sent letters and turned up at the house the presenter shares with footballer husband Frank Lampard more than once.

At Isleworth Crown Court King, of Mowbray Road, Brent, received a nine-month sentence suspended for two years.

King had pleaded guilty to stalking, but denied sending the tweets.

He was found to have sent the online messages after a Newton hearing on 5 June.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Christof King pleaded guilty to stalking last week but denied he sent the tweets

Mrs Lampard previously told the court she had to hide in a bedroom with the housekeeper after King appeared at the house.

King, who changed his name by deed poll from Jon Dunningham in April 2016, harassed Ms Lampard between January 2015 and October 2017.

In one tweet he said he could "hear the scratch of nails as I sharpen them ahead of your crucifixion" while another read: "I am planning the words that will go on your gravestone."

Prosecutor Warwick Tatford told the court King had even written to the Lampard's dog Minnie where he said he was so pleased to meet the animal "after all these years", and how he felt they "developed some kind of special bond in that moment."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Neither Christine or Frank Lampard were in court to hear the sentencing

Defending, John Oliver said King had "received the message loud and clear" that the Lampards did not want contact from him.

He said King, who had initially contacted the TV presenter for career advice, had a delusional disorder "which has over the year raised its head, but has without treatment or intervention gone into remission on a number of occasions".

As well as his suspended sentence, King was given an indefinite restraining order that bans him from contacting both Christine and Frank Lampard, and prevents him from going within 100 yards of their home or entering their street.

He was also handed a 15-day community order for rehabilitation activity, as well as 150 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Robin Johnson warned King that if he breaches the restraining order, he could face up to five years in prison.

"Those in the public eye are used to receiving contact from strangers. But they, like anyone else, are entitled to protection from the law when some contact moves from simply irritation to being criminal," he said.

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