Little Mix's Jade Thirwall left 'scared for her safety' by fan accused of stalking her
Published 01/03/2016 | 16:59
Little Mix singer Jade Thirwall was left "nervous, unsettled and scared for her own safety" by a fan accused of stalking her, a court heard.
Nabeel Waseem, 33, was formally cleared of stalking her following a hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court, after he accepted a restraining order which will keep him away from the pop star.
The former Harrods employee was arrested in January having visited her grandmother in Jade's home town of South Shields, South Tyneside.
Police warned him if he wanted to have contact with her, he must go through her record label, the court heard.
So Waseem, of Broadwater Road, Wandsworth, London, contacted her management to say he was dying of epilepsy, had spent thousands on tickets and albums and he wanted to work for them for free.
This sparked further alarm, the court heard.
Clare Irving, prosecuting, said: "She felt nervous, unsettled, scared for her own safety and that of her family. "She felt harassed and in fear of physical violence."
Mrs Irving said Jade had posted a message on Instagram on January 13 saying she was having a sleepover at her "nana's".
Her cousin phoned her that evening to say a fan had turned up, asking to see Jade.
Mrs Irving said the thought made the singer feel sick. It appeared from the hearing Jade was not at the house when Mr Waseem called.
The defendant accepted the restraining order but would have denied stalking, so the prosecution offered no evidence and withdrew the charge.
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said Waseem was motivated by his belief that Little Mix deserved better management than Simon Cowell.
"He cannot plead guilty because he doesn't accept he has done anything wrong," his solicitor said.
"His motives were entirely well-intended. He wishes nothing but the very best for the group."
He said his client had never been in the same town as her, or been in her sight.
Waseem, wearing a black hoodie, tracksuit bottoms and open-toed sandals for the hearing, was allowed to explain how Little Mix's 10 million fans around the world, if asked, would vote for the band to leave Simon Cowell's management company.
"I was only trying to be a middle-man, trying to convey that message," he told the court.
Chairman of the Bench John Lee made the indefinite restraining order which prevents Waseem from contacting Jade, posting on social media about her, researching or getting someone else to research "private facts" about her, approaching her, entering parts of South Shields or going to a concert or event where she was appearing.
"I think your affection for Jade Thirwall has probably runs its course," Mr Lee said. "What this is telling you to do is stay away from her."
The acquittal meant he walked free from court without any conviction, but he was warned he would be brought back if he broke the restraining order terms.