A Northamptonshire pensioner who sent explicit photos and messages to soap stars has apologised for his actions after he was spared jail.
David Watson, 74, from Pascoe Crescent, Daventry, was given a 12-week jail sentence, suspended for a year, after he appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
He had sent explicit photos to TV stars Jennie McAlpine and Kym Lomas, from Coronation Street, and Emmerdale star Natalie Robb. In each case a photograph of the star’s head had been superimposed on to an explicit image of another woman.
Miss McAlpine received sexually-explicit written messages from Watson. All the messages were sent to the stars’ home addresses after Watson paid a company to supply them. The court heard Watson’s offences had placed a ‘terrible strain’ on his 54-year marriage, with his wife now too embarrassed to attend church services.
In a statement read in court, Watson, who had no previous convictions, said: “To whom I have offended I wish to profoundly apologise. I am truly ashamed and will regret my actions for the rest of my life. I hope people I have offended can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”
An earlier hearing heard Watson had made the pictures after becoming ‘bored’.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of sending indecent images to Miss McAlpine, who plays Fiz Stape in Coronation Street, which amounted to harassment between October and December last year.
He also pleaded guilty to two charges under the Malicious Communications Act of sending indecent messages to Miss Marsh, who plays Michelle Connor, and Miss Robb, who plays Moira Barton in Emmerdale, for the purpose of causing them distress and anxiety.
Sentencing Watson, District Judge Paul Richards told him: “This is disgusting behaviour. People in the public eye do not need to be abused when they are helpless to respond. You caused a great deal of upset and fear.”
Watson was also ordered to attend a supervision order, pay £85 costs and £80 surcharge.