A blue-bearded seaman with an obsessive streak has been jailed after reducing a woman to an emotional wreck during a six-month stalking campaign.
So relentless was George Eves in his pursuit of the 40-year-old victim that he even turned up at her workplace and told her he was trying to “break her down”.
The terrified charity worker was hounded by 61-year-old Eves to the point where she lived in constant fear of seeing his dyed blue beard hove into view.
York Crown Court heard that the creepy fisherman, who used to trawl the Scarborough coastline for crab and lobster, regularly turned up at her workplace at a charity shop in Scarborough and once offered her £5 to buy flowers.
Prosecutor Nick Adlington said Eves repeatedly followed the woman home after she left work. He also stalked her in pubs and down shopping aisles at Marks & Spencer, Boyes and the Brunswick shopping centre in Scarborough.
Eves, a strapping six-footer, also made a habit of ghosting up behind her as she waited at road crossings. On one occasion, she told him she was extremely distressed and warned him she would call police, but he told her he wasn’t going to stop. On another occasion, he warned her: “I tried to break you down before; I’m going to try again.”
When she finally called police, Eves made vehement denials but was charged with stalking her between August 2015 and January this year.
Last month, Scarborough magistrates found him guilty of harassment following a trial and transferred sentence to York Crown Court. Eves appeared in the dock on Thursday, maintaining an air of inscrutability behind his outrageous beard.
Mr Adlington said that Eves, of St Mary’s Walk, Scarborough, was on a suspended prison sentence at the time of the stalking campaign. The six-week sentence was imposed in August 2014 after he was convicted of damaging the vehicle tyres of a rival fisherman with whom he was in dispute over fishing territory.
Mr Adlington said Eves had numerous previous convictions for harassment and breaching court orders, and had first set eyes on the victim in 2010 when she worked in a local library he frequented.
“In August last year, while she worked in the Firstlight shop, she noticed that nearly every day, when she left work, he was stood outside on his bike,” said Mr Adlington.
“He would follow her to her house and occasionally wolf-whistle her. On each occasion that he passed her in the street, he made comments such as, ‘Give us a kiss’.”
In January, Eves - now sporting a blue beard and “large hat” - cycled up to her in the North Street car park and shouted: “I still have a fixation with you. What are you going to do about it?’”
Mr Adlington said the victim no longer dared venture into Scarborough town centre to meet up with friends and was now seriously considering leaving the area and quitting her job for fear of bumping into Eves again.
The court heard that in January 2011, Eves - a father-of-two described as a loner - was convicted of stalking another woman after bombarding her with letters and handwritten song lyrics over an 18-month period.
In August 2012, he was convicted of religiously-aggravated harassment after sending viperish letters to a church woman and her husband, criticising their spiritualist-healing faith, which he said “didn’t fall within Christian beliefs and was the work of the devil”.
He was given a six-month suspended prison sentence for that offence, but in 2014 he used a screwdriver to puncture the tyres of a rival fisherman who he claimed had deliberately damaged his inshore fishing pots used to catch lobster and crab.
Defence barrister James Gelsthorpe said that up to the age of 55, Eves had led a blameless life, but went off the rails after suffering serious ill health which led to psychological problems.
Jailing him for seven months, Judge David Batty said Eves’ denials showed that he had an “entire” lack of remorse for his actions which had had a “profound” effect on the victim.