David Beckham felt ‘angry’ and ‘helpless’ after stalker tried to collect daughter Harper from school
‘I tried to protect her and I am worried about her safety’
David Beckham has told a court how he felt "helpless" when a stalker tried to collect his daughter Harper from school, and feared what she "would do next".
The 47-year-old former Manchester United and England star was targeted by Sharon Bell (58) between July and November last year.
Westminster Magistrates' Court heard how she sent "threatening" letters before attending the Oxfordshire and west London homes of the footballer and his wife, former Spice Girls singer Victoria Beckham (48).
Then on November 18 last year, Bell turned up at the Beckhams' 11-year-old daughter's prep school, claiming: "I'm Harper's mother. I'm here to pick her up."
"I felt helpless and angry that there was nothing I could do. I was very concerned for Harper's safety," said Beckham, in a statement read out by prosecutor Arizuna Asante.
Victoria Beckham said in a statement she went to pick her daughter up with a security guard, while Bell was described by police as "looking vacant" before she was arrested.
"I didn't speak to her. However, I saw her as we were leaving," the fashion designer said.
She told how the incident "upset" her daughter, and said: "I tried to make very little fuss as I'm very worried about the effect it may have on Harper.
"I tried to protect her and I am worried about her safety."
She added: "I am very concerned and anxious about Harper going to the park or being taken on school trips."
The court heard Bell was fixated with Beckham and claimed she was Harper's real mother. She sent a handwritten letter to their Oxfordshire home on July 5 last year telling him she planned to attend the property days later.
"I have got your address from a detective agency, I hope you don't mind. I have feelings for you David," it read.
"Victoria owes me some money David as she said she's been robbing my bank account for years, which isn't very nice. I would appreciate it if she wasn't there."
The court heard she was "persistent" when she arrived at the property on July 9 but left after being told by security it was the wrong address.
Another letter was sent to the Beckhams' home in Holland Park before Bell turned up on September 9.
"Please be there, otherwise someone will go to the press and say you both have my role numbers. Now that wouldn't look good would it as you have got an OBE," the letter said.
"You said if I write to you first and I'm unarmed (which I will be) then I can come in for a chat and a tea (Earl Grey is my favourite tea). I really want to chat to you so please can I come in for a chat?"
The letter also made reference to the home of television presenter Richard Madeley and said: "I will not have a go at you.
"I just want to talk to you. You owe me that David (p.s. I would like to be with you when you have brain surgery to give you a few new brain cells) and your friend Tom Cruise has really upset me David. He has done some terrible things to me."
In a third letter sent in October, Bell said: "I do love you and have done since we were children."
Beckham said he had never met Bell and told of his concern about her "escalating" behaviour, which he felt was becoming "erratic and unpredictable".
"I felt like the language in the letter was escalating and becoming more emotional and threatening towards me and my family and this worried me," he said.
"The letters were becoming increasingly threatening and obviously the female knew where I lived."
He added: "It made me worried about what she would do next."
Bell, of Boundary Way, Watford, was charged with stalking but did not face a criminal trial because she has a mental disorder.
District Judge Michael Snow said he was satisfied she had carried out the criminal conduct and made an order to detain Bell, who appeared in court on Tuesday by video-link, under the Mental Health Act.
He referred to the "rather frightening thought" of her researching Beckham's address and the "chilling words" used in her letters.
"He (Beckham) became frightened for the safety of his family, being concerned to what Ms Bell might do next," the judge added.
He also imposed a civil stalking protection order banning Bell from contacting the Beckhams or their four children for the rest of their lives.
"This is one of those rare cases where an indefinite order is necessary to protect those members of the Beckham family named within it from serious psychological or physical harm from Ms Bell," he said.
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