An obsessed fan who sent DJ Sara Cox a series of letters to her home address has been jailed for 16 months, after cops found he also had indecent images of children.
Anthony Collins, 50, who pleaded guilty to harassment, had written letters to the star, calling her sexy and attractive and asking her to invite him to the Radio 2 studios. He also told her he was severely mentally disturbed, lonely and unhappy and had paid money online to find out her personal details.
The Great Pottery Throw Down presenter alerted the police after receiving the creepy notes sent to her at her home, at the BBC, and then at her husband’s work place.
And when cops visited Collins’ home in Medway, Kent, back in February, they found indecent images of children as young as four. He had hoarded child sexual abuse images from the internet and magazines in his bedside drawer.
They also found a Google Map print out of directions to Sara’s sister’s home address.
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At Maidstone Crown Court, Collins admitted one charge of harassment, two of making indecent images of children and two of possessing indecent images of children.
Prosecutor Mary Jacobson said Collins has a long history of harassing young girls and breaching restraining orders.
In the notes, written in felt tip pen and capital letters, Collins told Sara he was lonely, his friends were dead, he suffered from bipolar disorder and that his brother had drowned in a river.
One letter read: “I am poor, on DWP, and live in a poor bedsit for poor people, I am unhappy. I apologise for writing to your home address. I got it for £17 [from] the internet.
“Sara you are a lovely human being, sexy, attractive and an all round fantastic human being.”
In the letter sent to Sara’s husband, Ben Cyzer, Collins had drawn a cancer diagram. It was after receiving this note that Sara became “immediately much more scared” and the couple contacted the police.
Ms Jacobson told the court Collins had said he was attracted to the 42-year-old DJ and “wanted to be in the news”, and that he “wants help” over his sexual interests as he “can’t help what he does”.
She said: “The victim is a radio broadcaster in national radio, she is a well known public figure.
“He says he has a strong interest in girls over the age of nine and fantasises about having sex with them. He said he would like help as he always has these thoughts and he knows it is wrong.”
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Sentencing Collins to 16 months imprisonment, Judge Martin Joy also imposed a sexual harm prevention order and awarded a restraining order banning him from contacting Sara Cox and her immediate family.
He said: “You wanted to be a deviant, quite plainly you have a preference for girls who are very young and doctors have come to the conclusion that there is no evidence that you have an acute mental illness, that you do manifest a personality disorder.
“It is quite clear you have an obsessive personality.”
Collins has eight convictions for 13 offences dating back to 1991 including harassment and breaches of restraining orders.