Magistrates impose restraining order on pensioner

MAGISTRATES have slapped a restraining order on a 72-year-old pensioner who harassed a woman he met at a village day centre

Geoffrey Hitchcock turned up at the woman’s home four times in one day -- despite having been issued with a caution from police.

And on another day he stuffed an envelope containing �50 through her letterbox, money she did not want and handed over to day centre staff for safe keeping.

“His attentions have been unwanted, and she had done nothing to encourage it,” said prosecutor Laura Mardell.

Under the two-year restraining order, the pensioner has been banned from contacting Audrey Turner-Moore. He must also stay away from her home, they live in the same sheltered accommodation complex.

Hitchcock met Mrs Turner-Moore at Burwell Day Centre, they had known each other for two years.

On August 18, Hitchcock stood outside Mrs Turner-Moore’s front door, and walked away when her friend went outside. He returned two hours later, and looked through her patio door. Hitchcock rang his victim’s doorbell and banged on the door early in the evening, and left when he was asked to go away. But he returned two hours later, and left when her family explained that she did not want to see him,

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Mitigating, solicitor Jacqui Baldwin said the pensioner had not intended to cause distress by persistently visiting Mrs Turner-Moore.

“They met at the day centre, he is active, and assisted her with getting on the bus when they went out with the group,” she said. “He felt it was a good friendship and was surprised she did not want his attention, and for him to be a friend to her.

“Having received a caution, he accepts he was well aware she did not want his attention. The money was put through the letterbox to assist Mrs Turner-Moore with moving expenses.”

Hitchcock, of Ash Grove, Burwell, has been asked to stay away from the village day centre, she added. He admitted harassing his victim between August 15 and 19, and was fined �120 with �85 costs and a surcharge of �15.