Barrister guilty of stalking ex-girlfriend escapes jail

Former Hardwicke Building barrister Julian Webster has been given a two-year conditional discharge after he resumed stalking his ex-lover and former colleague.

Webster began harassing Bosmath Sheffi after she ended their three-year relationship last year and had a restraining order taken out against him this January.

Following his conviction under anti-stalking laws he resigned from the chambers, his 14-year career ruined, but the stalking began again and he was committed to St Mary's Hospital for a week under the Mental Health Act in February.

Webster was arrested again last week, having made 15 phone calls to Sheffi's West End home on one night and sending her a suicide note.

His three-page, handwritten note to Sheffi, a barrister at 9 King's Bench Walk, said: “Dear Bossi… I still care for you. I care little for myself. I am now a rational suicide. I shall kill myself.”

Magistrate Geoffrey Breen told Webster, when he appeared before Horseferry Road Magistrates Court last Thursday, that he was allowing him to walk free from court “in the hope that your experience in the past few days has caused you to realise that you just can't go on this way”.

Breen described Webster as “a broken man” and “clinically depressed”.

Jonathan Shapland, acting for Webster, said he “now accepts that she [Sheffi] no longer wants anything to do with him and that she is distressed by his continued attentions”.