A mentally ill stalker who broke into British pop star Lily Allen’s bedroom, forcing her to leave the family home for good, has been sectioned by a judge.
Alex Gray’s campaign of abuse also involved making contact with the singer on social media, handing her offensive letters and a “romantic CD”, and accusing her of “stealing” lyrics he had written.
The 31-year-old, of Perth, showed no emotion as he was handed an indeterminate hospital order and restraining order for burglary and stalking at Harrow Crown Court, London, yesterday.
Allen was not present for the hearing, but a victim impact statement read before the judge said she was “left terrified for my and my children’s safety”, having been in the room when the defendant gained access to her flat.
She said the presence of another person with her at the time was likely to have scared him off.
Judge Martyn Barklem said Gray had told police he would “cut her with a knife”.
Gray was convicted of one count of burglary and one count of stalking involving serious alarm or distress during his trial in April.
The court heard he broke into the singer’s former home, in Queen’s Park, London, where he stole a handbag, a mobile phone, jewellery, a hard drive, keys, a vase, and cash.
He believed he was owed “millions” from Allen, who he accused of stealing his lyrics to further her pop career, something the court heard was “a delusion”.
In the victim impact statement,Allen — referred to by her married name Cooper — said the defendant had a “crazy obsession”.
“I had already been incredibly disturbed and upset by the letters Mr Gray sent, and his contact on social media, but the break-in at my home was absolutely terrifying.”
Consultant psychiatrist Neil Hunt said Gray likely suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
Sentencing, the judge said Gray’s offending was “borne out of the long-standing, delusional, and utterly groundless” belief that Allen plagiarised his lyrics.
He said: “I make it clear that the order I have made is not a punishment but is entirely for your well-being and that of the public.”
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