An alleged stalker climbed up a drain pipe and crawled through an upstairs window in a “nightmarish” incident at a woman’s home in Belfast, the High Court has heard.
Prosecutors said Nikolajus Afanasenkov had to be sprayed in the face during a bathroom struggle with a victim he claimed to love.
The 61-year-old lorry driver is also accused of subsequently defying orders to stay away from the woman by leaving a note outside her house, making an obscene gesture at CCTV cameras installed at the property, and following her in the city centre.
Afanasenkov, a Lithuanian national of Finn Square in Belfast, faces charges of stalking, common assault and criminal damage to a window frame.
During a bail application the court was told he had sent the woman unwanted text messages and then allegedly appeared at the rear of her home in the Shankill area on July 1.
She locked the back door and ran up to the bathroom but then heard a scraping noise.
A Crown lawyer said: “The applicant climbed up a drain pipe, crawled in through the window… and grabbed her phone.
“In an attempt to get him to leave she sprayed something in his face, but there was a struggle in the bathroom.”
Afanasenkov eventually left the house and later claimed that any damage caused had been accidental. He denied assaulting the woman during the incident.
He is accused of breaching a prohibition on contacting the woman on three further occasions last month.
She woke up to discover a note which stated he was in love with her, the court heard, and also spotted him in the early hours of the morning making a finger gesture at CCTV cameras outside the property.
Afanasenkov also allegedly followed her during an encounter at Castle Street in Belfast before running away when she stopped to take a photograph of him.
Opposing his bid to be re-released from custody, prosecution counsel argued: “The initial incident at the house is quite nightmarish.
“He climbed through an upstairs window, took her phone off her… and he appears to be continuing to stalk the complainant.”
Defence barrister Victoria Loane stressed Afanasenkov’s history of employment and lack of any previous criminal record.
Granting bail to the accused, Mr Justice McAlinden banned him from entering the woman’s street or the city centre during work hours as part of strict conditions aimed at protecting her from any further encounters.
The judge emphasised: “That is in no way to minimise the seriousness of these alleged offences or to trivialise what appears to be a consistent campaign of unwanted attention.”