James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Woman jailed for sending ex-lover pig's head in campaign of harassment
18 February 2021, 15:24 | Updated: 18 February 2021, 15:26
A woman who sent her ex-lover a pig's head in a "gratuitous act of spite" during a prolonged stalking campaign has been jailed for 15 months.
Tia McBean, 33, also bombarded Oralton Robinson and his long-term partner with phone calls and ordered pizzas to their home.
She fell pregnant during a short relationship with Mr Robinson after they met in a pub in May 2018, Woolwich Crown Court heard.
After they split up, McBean then sent abusive text messages, knocked on his door late at night, left notes and at times made more than 100 phone calls a day.
She also targeted the restaurant run by Mr Robinson's partner, sending Facebook messages to regular customers falsely claiming she had seen a man carrying out a sex act in a cooking pot.
McBean ordered so many pizzas, the receipts filled four double-sided pages of evidence.
On 25 February last year, she sent a pig's head to Mr Robinson's partner's restaurant.
Prosecutor Matthew Dalton told a previous hearing: "At about 8:50am he was working at the restaurant when a delivery was made. He thought it was from a catering company.
"He opened it... it was a pig's head. He didn't expect this and would never order anything like this. They only served halal meat at the restaurant."
The court heard that a vegan employee said in a statement: "As soon as I saw it, I felt sick. It really wasn't nice for me at all. It made me feel nauseous and I did throw up."
McBean appeared at Woolwich Crown Court on Thursday to plead guilty to multiple charges including breach of a restraining order, criminal damage, stalking and sending malicious communications.
Sentencing, Judge Ruth Downing said McBean’s conduct caused “a loss of peace and quiet” but had not been violent.
However, she said criminal damage suggested it was "getting out of hand".
"Matters reached a very unpleasant stage when you sent a package that when opened... revealed that there was a pig's head inside, which was a horrible and very gratuitous act of spite," she said.
She added that reviews of Mr Robinson's partner's restaurant by McBean were "deeply unpleasant, unnecessary, hurtful, irksome and worrying".
Judge Downing also noted McBean's "history of disobedience" and initial "defiance" during proceedings.
James Hasslacher, defending, said: "This was an irrational approach to the breakdown of a relationship."
Referring to McBean's guilty pleas he said: "It is a move by her that I hope the court can see is an optimistic way forward."
He added it was a "matter of record" that Mr Robinson had previously been convicted of assaulting McBean.
McBean, of Besson Street, New Cross, was previously remanded in custody and is due to be released on licence in mid-March.
A further restraining order will be put in place in due course.