Potters Bar pensioner convicted of harassing mentally ill woman

A FRAIL 87-year-old man from Potters Bar faces being slapped with a restraining order, after he admitted badgering a mentally ill woman.

Daniel Johns, of Albemarle Avenue, visited the vulnerable victim’s home, telephoned her and pestered her in the street.

The 53-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was left disturbed by the incident, which took place on November 27 last year.

Appearing at St Albans Crown Court on Monday, Johns pleaded guilty to a single charge of harassment.

He also pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault against the same woman, a plea which was accepted by prosecutor Isabel Delamare.

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The court heard how Johns was of previous good character.

His barrister, George Papageorgis, added: “He is 87 years old and the likelihood of him committing a further offence is minimal.”

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Mr Papageorgis asked Judge Andrew Bright QC to sentence his client immediately.

However, the judge decided to adjourn sentencing, so that a report could be prepared by a probation officer.

Judge Bright said: “He [Johns] knew she was suffering from mental difficulties.

“He needs a restraining order.

I am unhappy about regarding this as some peccadillo that can be forgiven.

“It is significant harassment.”

He added: “This lady was not willing to be harassed – she was disturbed by it and reported it to the police.

“I want to stop it happening again.”

Judge Bright said there was no risk of Johns being sent to prison and granted him bail until September 10, on condition that he does not visit the woman’s home in Potters Bar.

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