Hardwicke Building stalker gets court fine

A barrister pestered a female colleague, plaguing her with phone calls and letters after she broke off their relationship, a court has heard.

Justin Webster, who pleaded guilty to harassment after being charged under the new stalking laws, faces disciplinary action from the Bar Council. Webster, 37, of Hardwicke Building, once made 23 telephone calls in just two hours to the home of 9 King's Bench Walk barrister Bosmath Sheffi, Horseferry Road magistrates were told.

The father-of-three was married when he embarked on an affair with Sheffi in April 1995. Their relationship continued until February 1998, when Sheffi broke off the affair and the harassment began, the court was told.

Stephen Hopkins, prosecuting, says: “He telephoned her hundreds of times at all hours and repeatedly wrote her letters he was also occasionally abusive and threatening. It caused her great and obvious distress.

“He told her he had left a poisonous character reference about her at two or three sets of chambers which she wanted to join.”

He wrote her 17 letters, which she binned, and turned up uninvited at her flat, where he called her a “Jew bitch,” says Hopkins.

The court heard Webster, who frequently undertook work for the Crown Prosecution Service, tried to overdose on pain-killers after the affair.

Webster, of Bayswater, London, was ordered to pay £1,500 compensation and was banned from seeing Sheffi for two years.