Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is said to have been inundated with gifts and abusive message for months, a court heard
A 39-year-old man has been told he could face full criminal prosecution if he continues to send Sophie Ellis-Bexter dozens of gifts and unsettling” messages. Nishil Patel, who is said to have only met the singer in passing last year, sent the singer hundreds of “concerning” and “upsetting” messages since they met, the City of London Magistrates' Court heard.
Unwanted presents had also been left with Ms Ellis-Bextor's next-door neighbour, including a wallet with his initials on, believing it to be the singer’s home. The court heard that in one message, Patel told her that “the wallet is blue, not black like your soul”. The 39-year-old has also turned up outside the address in west London between last October and April.
Magistrates were told that leading up to his arrest, Patel visited the address, rang the doorbell, and left a sticker on a car. He also contacted Ellis-Bextor's husband, and one of her five children online.
Prosecutor Felix Keating added that Patel left 30 parcels addressed to her at her neighbour's house, which prompted a warning from police on October 30th, last year. Despite blocking him, Ellis-Bextor continued to get messages from Patel after he created a new account on Instagram with his name spelt backwards, the court heard.
One message allegedly read: “I'm not allowed to talk to you obviously, but wtf Bexter, peeps [people] are nuts. Don't worry, I have got your back innit.” An earlier hearing in July heard that there was an “escalation in tone”, with the messages becoming more and more abusive, eventually calling her a “f****** privileged b****", a "fat c***”, and a “fake mother”.
As a result, the Metropolitan Police was granted a Stalking Protection Order (SPO), meaning Patel will face jail time if he contacts Ellis-Bextor in any way again, approaches her, or visits her home. Patel must also handover passwords for his devices that have the ability to record internet usage, as well as details and passwords of his social media accounts. All measures put against Patel will be in place for five years.
A statement from Ellis-Bextor said Patel's behaviour had “really unsettled” her. Magistrate Victoria Fraser granted the SPO after Patel did not contest the allegations. The court also heard the Patel lost his job last February, suffers from bipolar disorder and was once sectioned. Under the rules, police forces can apply for a civil SPO to prevent alleged stalkers from contacting and approaching their victims so that a criminal investigation can continue.