‘Besotted’ Graham Mansie, stalked his victim over a four month period between July and October last year. He also invited her out for a drink, showered her with unwanted gifts and even walked the halls of her college in York.
He found her and her roommates on WhatsApp pretending to be a male freshman. He also lost hundreds of pounds trying to pay dark web fraudsters to hack into her social media accounts and see what she was up to.
While he was supposed to focus on learning to drive, Mansie praised the youngster, saying she was his “favorite”.
The driving instructor also handed another student a gift bag to give to the teenager containing a keyring with eight personalized charms and a card describing the victim as “nice” and “amazing”.
The victim eventually became so worried about his inappropriate behavior that she told her mother about it, but he continued to harass her. He was only arrested after reporting to York.
Mansie, from Beckenham in south-east London, was reported to police last October and arrested a month later.
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He pleaded guilty to one count of criminal harassment at an earlier hearing last month. His eight-week prison term was suspended for a year.
He was told to complete 30 days of rehab and go to the Stalking Threat Assessment Center for help.
He was also banned from contacting the victim for the rest of his life and from paying the court £300 costs and a victim fine surcharge of £128.
Bromley Magistrates Court was told he had already breached his bail conditions twice by contacting her on Instagram and WhatsApp.
The second time, he messaged her saying “you killed me” after a report of his plea hearing was released to the media.
The victim, who has since turned 18, said in an impact statement she read from behind a screen in court: “His crimes affected me mentally and physically. I’m scared and I think about it every day. What worries me the most is the uncertainty of not knowing what he will do since he has come to York to try to find me.
“I stopped wearing my coat and cut my hair as he complimented me on both. Often I can’t sleep and feel very vulnerable because I left my family.
“I’m scared he’s coming to break into my house. His post on April 22 left me upset and upset as I worried about whether he would continue to breach bail.
“I fear he will return to my university accommodation and I am very concerned for my safety. The people in my university residence have been affected by this. They are absolutely petrified and worried that he will show up.
“I missed two weeks of teaching and it had a negative impact on my studies and on my mental health. I have lost my appetite and the doctors are worried about my weight and my diet.”
Denise Clewes, prosecuting, said the couple met in 2020 and their contact was initially normal until she resumed classes in April last year as the lockdown eased.
She added: “He described her as his ‘favorite’. He created a TikTok account with a love heart emoji. He made comments about wanting to be in a relationship with her and talked about go have a drink.
“He created an Instagram account that had messages like ’30 days to see you’. She realized it was him and he said ‘ignore me, that was silly’. The 16th July, his friend passed her driving test and he gave her eight personal items for her.
“He joked that he had a file on her. She told her mom. He said in a message to his mother who wanted him to stop teaching her “is it because I love her?” In September 2021 she moved to York. He managed to join a WhatsApp group for his residencies with a profile for an 18-year-old boy.
“He made friends with all his room mates. He used the dark web to ask people to hack into his private messages to see what he was up to. He lost hundreds of pounds trying to do this. On October 31, 2021, he traveled to York by train. He left his residence but did not enter.
“His father called him saying ‘you are a pervert’. He replied ‘I love your daughter, she is 18’. His father called the police and the accused was arrested on November 3.
In mitigation, his attorney Piers Kiss-Wilson said his client was remorseful and had no prior convictions.
He added, “He completely misinterpreted the platonic friendly interaction on her part.”
District Judge Venessa Lloyd told him, “Your behavior has caused great distress, not only to your victim, but also to his parents and classmates. She doesn’t return your affection. You’re shaking your head now, I hope you accept it.
“The last message you sent him seemed to imply it was all his fault. None of this was his fault. You don’t need to have contact with her. She’s just beginning her adult life and that doesn’t include you.
After being found guilty last month, Tracy Mesmain, District Crown Prosecutor with CPS London South Magistrates’ Unit, said after sentencing: ‘Harassment can be deeply distressing and can have an impact on long term on the victims.
“Graham Mansie fell in love with his student. As a trusted driving instructor, he was simply tasked with helping a teenage girl pass her exam, but his driving became inappropriate and disturbing.
“The victim also described her actions as making her feel vulnerable. The prosecution case included telephone evidence that showed Mansie repeatedly accessed the victim’s social media pages.
“When arrested and questioned, he also confessed to police that he used the dark web to try to contact people to hack into the victim’s social media accounts, to see what she was up to. after being blocked.
“He told officers he had lost hundreds of pounds getting scammed trying to do this and was in love with the victim.”
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said prosecutors were “absolutely determined” to bring the stalkers to court to face justice.
Ms Mesmain added: “I would like to acknowledge the bravery of the victim in this case, who came to court to give evidence against her stalker, before he changed his plea on the day of the trial.
“I hope the successful prosecution of this case will give other victims the confidence to come forward and report their harassers to the police.”