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Christine Lampard tells how alleged stalker's tweets turned from waffle to something more sinister

By Catherine Wylie and Cate McCurry

TV presenter Christine Lampard has described tweets allegedly sent to her by a stalker as "sinister and dark".

Christof King (39), of Mowbray Road, Brent, pleaded guilty to stalking last week, but he disputes sending the tweets.

Prosecutor Nicholas Dunham told Isleworth Crown Court that King sent Lampard tweets which had content that was "from dark to loving to incoherent".

King, who wanted career advice from Lampard, sent letters and turned up at her house on more than one occasion, causing her to hide in a bedroom with the housekeeper.

Speaking from behind a curtain in the court, Lampard said the alleged "disturbing" tweets caused her so much concern she showed them to her husband Frank. The former England international sat opposite his Newtownards-born wife as she gave evidence at the Newton hearing regarding whether or not King sent the tweets.

Lampard said several tweets were "incoherent waffle", with some tagging her employer ITV, and her husband.

"Several tweets became quite sinister and dark," she added.

Lampard said these tweets made her pay attention, adding that another reason she noticed the tweets was because "there was so many of them".

One tweet he is alleged to have sent said: "I can hear the scratch of nails as I sharpen them ahead of your crucifixion."

The court heard another tweet said: "I am planning the words that will go on your gravestone."

Lampard said she remembered the word "tombstone", adding that she paid a "great deal" of attention to his Twitter profile picture.

"Because the tweets were so disturbing, to the extent that I showed it to my husband as well and shared my concerns," she said.

"I wanted to make sure I memorised his face," she told the court.

Lampard, who is expecting her first child with her husband, said her biggest concern was that she worked predominantly on live TV, meaning that it was not too difficult to figure out when she would be leaving her workplace.

The star was shown other negative tweets sent to her in the past, after she said the "vast majority of the people" she deals with are "good, nice people".

On the negative tweets shown to her, she said: "I don't remember any of those.

"I don't remember any of those names. I don't remember what they look like.

"But I do remember Mr King."

She also told King's lawyer, who had brought up the other negative tweets, that to bring up tweets from 2014 showed he had to "look very far back".

Talking about the letters sent by King, Lampard said: "I felt very uneasy with the letters. Incredibly odd.

"Including one written to my dog... but it was this sense that he felt a certain destiny to talk to me which is clearly not normal."

The court heard a letter sent to Lampard by King in September 2017 acknowledged that the situation was starting to feel "like Groundhog Day".

King went on to say he had an idea he "should probably have thought of a while ago".

He wrote: "I would really like your help with getting into the TV industry."

King said he was sure she would have some great connections, adding that he was "making no headway".

He said he would like to come to the Lampards' home to "pick your brains", adding that she seemed to be "a very good actress".

He said he did not want to "rake over old ground", adding: "I will just play the adoring fan."

In the letter, King referred to his "indepth analysis" of how she operates on TV. The letter ended with: "Ps. This letter will self destruct in 10 seconds."

He added that this would only happen if she helped it along with a lit match.

The court heard about the time the TV star was at her home with her husband when they heard a knock at the door.

Their housekeeper answered and told the couple that a Christof was at the door and asking for them.

Mrs Lampard explained that her husband works with a Christof and they thought it was him. As they approached the front door, Mrs lampard said she recognised him as "the man from Twitter".

The court heard King's letter to Mrs Lampard's dog said he was "so pleased" to finally meet her.

"I really do feel that we developed a special kind of bond in that moment and I would love to do it again some time," he wrote.

"The only thing that left me feeling disappointed was that you didn't speak to me," King added in the letter.

Mr Dunham said King also said he had a "short questionnaire" he would like the dog to fill in.

The court heard that King described Lampard as "the most stunningly beautiful person I have ever seen", and also that he described himself as "a bit of a control freak". Mr Dunham said that over time Frank Lampard was not only concerned about the safety of his wife, but also that of his daughters, aged 10 and 12.

King, who said he changed his name by deed poll from Jon Dunningham in April 2016, told the court he had only one Twitter account and did not send the tweets to Mrs Lampard.

He said he could not explain the account the tweets came from, adding: "I did not set up that account. I've never had that account."

King said he had perhaps been a bit over the top and "gushing" in how he thought Mrs Lampard was a "lovely person", but had "never been malicious".

He added: "Overly emotional, yes, but this is why, in my police interview, I was genuinely shocked, because I never, ever thought my actions would cause her alarm and distress. I am absolutely mortified that it has come to this."

He told the court: "The only people who really have the answer to this are Twitter."

King said he believed Twitter must have evidence of the account existing and who set it up.

"I'm a very honest person," he added.

The court heard that King, who said he has a PhD in science, had applied for work experience on The One Show which was once presented by Mrs Lampard.

The case was adjourned until today.

Belfast Telegraph

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