Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bass Singer Harassed Soprano after Falling in Love with Her Voice

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bass Singer Harassed Soprano after Falling in Love with Her Voice

Article excerpt

AN INFATUATED opera singer subjected a female colleague to a bizarre harassment campaign after falling in love with her voice, a court heardy.

Jude Le Grice, 31, showered soprano Rebecca Norton with gifts including a gold ring he stole from a jewellers and a brand new Jaguar car.

Le Grice, a bass singer, also stole a tailor's dummy with a wedding dress on it which he took to Miss Norton's home and left in the drive as a present.

And on another occasion he hired a mechanical digger, ploughed up her front lawn and planted a 30ft tall ash tree with a ribbon tied around the trunk for her.

Finally Miss Norton, 23, went to the police after spending three years spurning his advances.

The defendant, whose grandfather was artist Jeremy Le Grice - famous for his paintings of the Cornish coast - pleaded guilty to harassing Miss Norton between June 1999 and May this year.

Blandford magistrates court in Dorset heard yesterday that Le Grice first met Miss Norton in 1999 while she was studying drama at the University of Kent and receiving private tuition from the renowned opera singer Sheila Luxon in Canterbury.

Le Grice also went to Ms Luxon's home for lessons and became infatuated with Miss Norton after meeting her. In the following three years he regularly turned up at her parents' home in the village of Blandford St Mary.

Ms Luxon said: "He came to me for lessons. He was very talented and had a wonderful bass voice. He met Rebecca at my house one time and seemed to fall in love with her voice. She is a lovely, attractive-girl and has a beautiful soprano voice.

That is how and where it all started and he became totally obsessed with her.

"I saw Rebecca for some time after and she told me she was scared and worried about what he would do."

Peter Tewkesbury, prosecuting, told the court: "The defendant became obsessed and infatuated with Miss Norton even though she had never encouraged him at any stage.

"However, over the years he went on a number of occasions to her parents' home in Blandford St Mary to ask after her and wanting to speak to her. …

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