David Beckham has told a court how he felt “helpless” when a stalker tried to pick up his daughter Harper from school, fearing what she “would do next”.
The 47-year-old former Manchester United and England star was targeted by Sharon Bell, 58, between July and November last year.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard her send “threatening letters” before visiting the homes of the footballer and his wife, former Spice Girls singer Victoria Beckham, 48, in Oxfordshire and west London.
Then, on November 18 last year, Bell showed up at the Beckhams’ 11-year-old daughter’s prep school and claimed, “I’m Harper’s mom. I’m here to pick her up.”
“I felt helpless and angry that there was nothing I could do. I was very concerned for Harper’s safety,” Beckham said in a statement read by prosecutor Arizuna Asante.
Victoria Beckham said in a statement she went to pick up her daughter with a security guard, while Bell was described by police as “looking vacant” before she was arrested.
“I haven’t spoken to her. But I saw them when we were leaving,” the fashion designer said.
Recounting how the incident “upset” her daughter, she said: “I’ve tried to make very little fuss as I’m very concerned about the impact it may have on Harper.
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“I tried to protect her and am concerned for her safety.”
She added, “I am very worried and concerned about Harper going to the park or being taken on school field trips.”
The court heard that Bell was fixated on Beckham, claiming she was Harper’s real mother. She sent a handwritten letter to her home in Oxfordshire on July 5 last year, telling him she planned to visit the property days later.
“I got your address from a detective agency, I hope you don’t mind. I have feelings for you David,” it read.
“Victoria owes me some money, David, as she said she’s been robbing my bank account for years, which isn’t very nice. I would appreciate it if she wasn’t there.”
The court heard she was “persistent” when she arrived at the property on July 9 but left after being told by security guards it was the wrong address.
Another letter was sent to the Beckhams’ Holland Park home before Bell showed up on September 9.
“Please be there or someone will go to the press and say you both have my reel numbers. That wouldn’t look good if you had an OBE,” the letter said.
“You said if I write to you first and I’m unarmed (which I will be) then I can come over for a chat and a cup of tea (Earl Gray is my favorite tea). I really want to chat with you so please I’ll come in for a chat?”
The letter also referred to the home of TV presenter Richard Madeley, saying: “I’m not going to try you.
“I just want to talk to you. You owe me David (ps I’d love to be with you when you have brain surgery to give you some new brain cells) and your friend Tom Cruise really pissed me off David. He did some terrible things to me.”
In a third letter sent in October, Bell said, “I love you and have since we were kids.”
Beckham said he’s never met Bell and shared his concerns about her “escalating” behavior, which he says is becoming “irregular and unpredictable.”
“I felt like the language in the letter was escalating and becoming more emotional and threatening towards me and my family, and that worried me,” he said.
“The letters became more and more threatening and obviously the woman knew where I lived.”
He added, “It made me worry about what she was going to do next.”
Bell, of Boundary Way, Watford, was charged with stalking but was not tried because she suffers from a mental disorder.
District Judge Michael Snow said he was satisfied she committed the criminal conduct and issued an order under the Mental Health Act to detain Bell, who appeared in court via video link on Tuesday.
He cited the “pretty scary thought” that she researched Beckham’s address and the “terrifying words” used in her letters.
“He (Beckham) grew scared for the safety of his family and worried about what Ms Bell might do next,” the judge added.
He also imposed a civil stalking protection order barring Bell from contacting the Beckhams or their four children for the rest of their lives.
“This is one of the rare occasions when an indefinite order is required to protect members of the Beckham family named therein from serious psychological or physical harm at the hands of Ms. Bell,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/david-beckham-felt-helpless-after-stalker-tried-to-collect-daughter-harper-from-school-41835415.html David Beckham ‘felt helpless’ after stalker tried to pick up daughter Harper from school