A “socially inadequate loner”, who stalked a young mother for more than five years, has been jailed.
Elliot Fogel, 34, was given a four-month sentence after he admitted breaching a restraining order which banned him from any contact with Claire Waxman.
He had stored material on his computer including around 40,000 Google searches of Mrs Waxman’s name, a satellite image of her home, and her wedding picture.
On Monday, Wood Green Crown Court heard how Fogel, a video editor who had worked freelance for the Sky Sports News channel, broke the terms of the order just two days after it was imposed in 2006.
Fogel, of Isleworth, Middlesex, first met Mrs Waxman when both were studying A-levels at St Alban’s College in 1991. They left two years later and he did not contact her again until 2003, when he sent her flowers.
Shortly after, said Kwame Biney, prosecuting, the harassment campaign began. Fogel visited her workplace, asked for her phone number and invited her to dinner.
On various occasions between then and 2005 he was seen jogging outside her home, sent her a mobile phone in the post, and regularly rang her office during the night to listen to her voice on her answering machine.
The banning order stopped him from approaching Mrs Waxman’s home, workplace and parents’ home, but in April 2007 he was given a suspended prison sentence for breaching it.
He was arrested again in December 2008. When police conducted forensic testing of his computer they discovered the internet searches on Mrs Waxman and her family.
Among the material Fogel had downloaded was a satellite image of her home, her husband’s telephone number and her father’s business details.
Mr Biney said the victim feared for her safety and that of her two young children.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mrs Waxman, 33, told of the strain on her health and her family’s wellbeing.
“My life has been ruined by this man in so many ways. I understand where this obsessive behaviour can lead. We are like sitting ducks waiting for something to happen. He has no respect for me, my family or the law. He is a potential danger to society and me.”
Mrs Waxman, who runs a complementary therapy business, said she had considered leaving Britain to escape the torment.
Defending, Darryl Cherrett said Fogel was a “loner”, “socially inadequate” and an “incompetent suitor”.
“He never intended to cause her harassment, alarm or distress. He has a form of infatuation with her from when they went to college. That has subsided. He needs to get a life for himself.”
He said his client posed a low risk of violence and “deeply regretted” the anxiety he had caused Mrs Waxman. He added that tests showed Fogel had traits similar to those associated with Asperger’s syndrome.
Sentencing him, Judge Fraser Morrison said Fogel had twice “deliberately disobeyed” the restraining order.
He said: “Claire Waxman wants some peace from you. You could not take the hint that any relationship was not going to take place. You are not an unintelligent man, but you did not take the hint.”
Fogel, who did not speak during the hearing, occasionally stared at Mrs Waxman and her husband, Marc, across the courtroom. He showed no emotion as he was led from the dock.