A man named Timothy O’Brien has been sentenced to 17 weeks in jail after harassing a BBC weather presenter, Alexis Green, with over 100 sexually explicit messages within a month.
The court heard that O’Brien, a former company director and avionic engineer, sent messages to Green telling her she had “nice legs” and that he liked it when she wore “a sexy little dress.”
O’Brien also sent videos and pictures of himself and detailed his sexual fantasies.
Green told the court that O’Brien’s unwanted advances left her feeling “physically sick” and made her feel less confident in “every aspect” of her life, resulting in her taking time off work.
O’Brien sent a total of 115 messages, 33 videos, and 13 photos to Green.
Appearing for sentencing at Southampton Magistrates’ Court, O’Brien was also handed a restraining order and told not to attend Green’s place of work at BBC South in the city.
Prosecuting Bethany Adams told the court that O’Brien repeatedly contacted Green via Facebook messenger between December 18 last year and January 24 this year.
During the trial, Green read her victim statement to the court, saying that the ordeal had led her to consider quitting the work she loved.
She also stated that she felt like she was constantly looking over her shoulder and that she was in a constant state of alert.
The harassment had affected her private life, and she felt physically sick presenting the weather, knowing that the defendant could be watching.
O’Brien admitted to harassment without violence after initially being arrested on suspicion of stalking in January this year.
In mitigation, Mark Hensleigh told the court that O’Brien had previously had a successful career before “something went wrong,” leading to him separating from his wife.
He said that O’Brien accepts what he did was wrong and apologizes to the victim.
In conclusion, Fiona Chalkley sentenced O’Brien to 17 weeks imprisonment and gave him a restraining order of “indefinite” length for any contact with Green.
He was also ordered not to attend her place of work at BBC South and told to pay court costs totaling £154.