Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Ferdinand stalker granted appeal

Susanne Ibru is to appeal against her conviction for harassing Rio Ferdinand and his family
Rio Ferdinand

Premier League star Rio Ferdinand may have to face his stalker once again after she was granted an appeal.

Susanne Ibru, 38, told Warrington Crown Court she wanted to overturn her conviction for harassment and a 10-year restraining order put in place to stop her bothering the Manchester United footballer and his family.

She was jailed for 10 weeks last month after the 32-year-old footballer told her trial that Ibru left him fearing for his family's safety by turning up at his home and demanding to speak to him.

Representing herself, Ibru, of no fixed address, told Judge David Hale: "I want to appeal against everything, the conviction, the sentence, the restraining order."

Asked what were the grounds for the appeal, she said: "I know Ferdinand and he knows me, and I hope he opens his mouth and says that this time." The judge replied: "That doesn't mean you never harassed him, what matters is how you contacted him."

Ibru, wearing blue jeans and a black jacket, told the court Mr Ferdinand's statement had been "changed" by police before the trial and that she did not believe he wanted the case to be brought against her. She also said she had not had time to prepare her grounds for appeal after being released from her prison sentence two weeks ago.

Ian Davies, prosecuting, said he expected all the trial witnesses, including Mr Ferdinand, to be re-called.

Ibru was living in Peckham, south London, when she made three 400-mile round trips to the star's home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, on February 21 last year, then again on June 16 and 18, her trial heard.

She represented herself during the April trial and cross-examined her victim. "I'll see you soon, bye," she told Mr Ferdinand when her questioning was completed. She then fled the court and was convicted of harassment in her absence. She later pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer who was sent to arrest her.

Ibru was told her appeal would take place before Judge Hale on October 11.

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