No jail for 'disturbed' Burnley stalker
3:00pm Friday 20th December 2013 in News
A STALKER who harassed a woman and her two daughters over almost two decades, leaving them living in fear, was spared immediate jail.
Burnley magistrates had heard how Graeme Hannigan, 43, was said to have spied on Anne Brierley and Lisa Wilkinson, posted information about their movements on Facebook and persistently monitored their internet use over almost two months earlier this year.
He had also taken a photograph from one of his victim's accounts on the social networking site and put it on his own.
The hearing had been told how the defendant's campaign started in 1996, when he had become obsessed with Mrs Brierley’s other daughter Carrie-Ann, then 17, when she worked at a cinema in Brierfield.
He had bombarded her with letters, was eventually traced and went on to be convicted of making threats to kill, at Burnley Crown Court.
The court had been told how nothing then happened for some years and Carrie-Ann emigrated to Australia and married.
Hannigan, who had then acquired a ‘vast amount of details’ about Carrie-Ann and her new life, had made entries on her Facebook page.
He even contacted her place of work and claimed she was an illegal immigrant. He was cautioned for harassment after police were informed.
Hannigan, of Brownhill Avenue, Burnley, had admitted stalking Mrs Brierley and Lisa Wilkinson at Burnley, on or between April 21 and June 15, this year. The bench had adjourned for psychiatric reports. Hannigan's solicitor had told the court the defendant had been found to have Aarskog-Scott syndrome.
Hannigan was given eight weeks in custody, suspended for 18 months, with an 18-month restraining order, banning contact with the family. He will also be under probation supervision for 12 months.
Mrs Brierley had told police: “He’s a disturbed individual. I am really terrified where this may end up going.”
Daniel Frazer, for Hannigan, had told the hearing: “He can't necessarily see the outcome of his behaviour.”
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