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“Delusional” Brentwood man detained for harassing BBC presenter

PUBLISHED: 14:03 07 October 2010 | UPDATED: 12:11 08 October 2010

Fiona Bruce (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Fiona Bruce (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

2010 Getty Images

A DELUSIONAL man who harrassed TV presenter Fiona Bruce with cards and flowers has been sentenced to a hospital order under the Mental Health Act.

Peter Oakey, 51, of Burses Way, Hutton, was declared mentally ill with persistent delusional disorder at Basildon Crown Court today and ordered by Judge John Lodge to be admitted to Basildon Hospital within the next 28 days for medical treatment under consultant psychiatrist Dr Awara.

He will be given anti-psychotic drugs and psychological treatment involving cognitive therapy.

Dr Awara, one of several psychiatrists who assessed Oakey prior to sentencing, was first cross-examined in court by Oakey’s counsel after it became apparent at the last hearing Oakey did not trust any of the psychiatrists and wanted to challenge their conclusions.

The court heard from Dr Awara that Oakey’s delusions - as well as believing Miss Bruce loved him and he loved her - included him believing he was a member of the nobility and there was a covenant operating against him.

Commenting on his distrust of the psychologists Dr Awara said: “It’s quite common really that the person will think the psychiatrists are against him.”

Oakey sent 20 cards to the 46-year-old BBC presenter signed “I love you Fiona. My beautiful firebird. Your kingfisher and loving husband Peter” between March and May 2009 which breached a restraining order imposed on him in December 2008. Oakey, who has a history of convictions for similar offences, admitted the breach.

In mitigation Maria Dineen said it was “rather inappropriate” to brand him a stalker because his harassment had never involved direct contact with Miss Bruce or her family.

Sentencing, Judge Lodge said this was “a difficult and unusual case”.

He said: “Any hospital order has a restriction of liberty. It’s a serious step for the court to take.

“I’m satisfied that the disorder is of a nature and degree which makes it appropriate for you to be detained in hospital for mental treatment.”

The Judge asked if Oakey’s transfer to hospital could be immediate but asked in the interim for him to be taken to a place of safety, namely Basildon Police Station.


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