Woman in fantasy world’ over celebrity chef

PUBLISHED: 12:27 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 14:54 12 May 2010

A WOMAN who was living in a fantasy world has been convicted of harassing celebrity chef Steven Saunders. Dawn Shadrack, 45, had denied harassing Mr Saunders, of Ashwell. The pair had first met at a gym 15 years ago. At Cambridge Magistrates Court on Mo

A WOMAN who was "living in a fantasy world" has been convicted of harassing celebrity chef Steven Saunders.

Dawn Shadrack, 45, had denied harassing Mr Saunders, of Ashwell.

The pair had first met at a gym 15 years ago.

At Cambridge Magistrates Court on Monday, Shadrack, who was known as Dawn Connell before her divorce, maintained that she and Mr Saunders were good friends, although they did not socialise.

But Emma Dmitriev, prosecuting, told her: "You were living in a fantasy world.

"You even accept that he told you time and time again to go away."

Mr Saunders told the court that when he realised that Shadrack was turning up at the gym at the same time as him, he changed gyms.

He then began hearing from her again in 2003.

Shadrack bombarded him with telephone calls and text messages from early morning until late at night and turned up at his house several times.

In total she is thought to have sent more than 1,000 text messages and made hundreds of telephone calls.

The volume of messages would jam up his phone and one morning alone Mr Saunders received 80 messages.

When she turned up at his house on March 16 this year, Mr Saunders called the police.

Shadrack told the court that she and Mr Saunders had considered dating each other, but did not because of her difficult divorce.

She said Mr Saunders rang her on Christmas Day last year and that she regarded him as "a close friend".

James Dignan, defending, said: "Love is blind and the penny doesn't always drop as quickly as it should.

"But the penny did drop when she went to his house and he said he didn't want anything more to do with her."

Shadrack, of Ramerick Gardens, Arlesey, was granted conditional bail and will be sentenced on December 11.

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