Man allowed to bring cat into courtroom with him avoids prison for stalking DLA Piper lawyer

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By Katie King on

He was given an 18-month supervision order

A convicted stalker was yesterday sentenced for persistently calling and sending letters to a DLA Piper lawyer.

Aidan Wiltshire, 74, from Chelmsford, Essex, “formed an attachment” to Alison Gowman, a consultant and former senior partner at the international outfit’s London office.

He believed real estate specialist Gowman was his legal adviser, sent her “numerous letters” and “made persistent calls to her home and office” in a campaign spanning from 2013 to 2015. She told the jury she felt “beleaguered and harassed”, and that Wiltshire’s conduct affected her ability to operate as a solicitor. His second victim, Cambridge college tutor Carol Irwin, was also “hounded” with letters.

Appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday, Wiltshire — who Judge David Turner QC said was suffering with a “significant cognitive impairment” — was sentenced for offences against the two women.

According to the Mirror, Turner told the court that while Wiltshire was unfit to plead in the case, medical evidence didn’t support the imposition of a hospital order. The judge therefore decided to impose an 18-month supervision order.

While sentence was handed down, Wiltshire watched on — alongside his pet cat Taylor. Yes, you read that correctly: unusually Wiltshire was allowed to take his moggy into court with him to help calm his nerves.

This isn’t a one-off. As we reported back in December 2015, defendant Wiltshire also brought his black cat — notoriously unlucky — into the courtroom during the case’s trial stages. Wiltshire apparently stroked his trusty feline companion throughout the hearing while a, probably pretty confused, Taylor observed proceedings from a shopping trolley.

As Wiltshire left the court at the time, presiding judge Charles Gratwicke joked: “don’t let the cat out of the bag!”

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