Comedian Rory McGrath harassed a married former lover for 14 months, hiding in bushes and threatening to share intimate photos of her, a court has heard.
The TV star was yesterday given a 10-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months after pleading guilty to harassment when he appeared for trial at Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court in Cambridgeshire.
They Think It’s All Over star McGrath, 60, whose wife Nicola was in court to support him, began harassing his victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, when she ended their affair.
McGrath, who also appeared in comedy documentary Three Men In A Boat, originally denied stalking but admitted harassment when the charge was changed.
He was given a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting his victim, her three children, her husband or her current partner. He was also ordered to pay £200 costs.
The court heard that McGrath, of Grantchester Street, Cambridge, became “unstable and tempestuous” after his lover dumped him and asked him to delete “intimate photographs” he had taken of them together.
Anthony Abell, prosecuting, said McGrath first met the complainant in the 1990s and then more recently through work as she was a writer and broadcaster.
He said the complainant was “unhappily married” and while the affair was initially something “they both cherished”, she decided to end it as she began to find McGrath “difficult and unpleasant company”. McGrath found this “difficult to deal with”, Mr Abell said.
Angela Rafferty, mitigating, said McGrath had been in love with the complainant and there was a “mid-life crisis element” to it. She said McGrath’s marriage had been “threatened” but was now “healing”.
District Judge Ken Sheraton, sentencing, told McGrath: “This was a persistent, consistent and controlling imposition of yourself on the victim and those close to her.”