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Pest, 72 is told to leave Earl in peace.

Byline: DAVID HURLEY

A PENSIONER who harassed the Earl of Dunraven and his family has been given a final warning to leave his victims alone or face jail

Appearing before New- castle West District Court, James Harden, 72, of Adare, Co Limerick, admitted writing notes and leaving parcels at the home of the family in Adare on four separate occasions this year.

Harden, who claimed in court he had been a member of the US Army, has previous convictions of a similar nature against the same family.

Judge Mary O'Halloran heard extracts yesterday from some of the hand-written letters which were addressed to Lady Anna, the Earl's daughter.

One read: "Do you know I've had an ambition to marry you for 10 years and 7 months? I suspect you fancy me but nothing has happened.

"If you leave it for 10 more years I could be dead and you will be 40, which is worse than being dead."

In the same letter he stated how he had been watching the home of the family for 16 weeks.

In a letter left on October 31 he wrote: "I'd like to put my arms around you and love you but you're making it impossible."

Sergeant Thomas Keane told the court that at 4.30am on November 8 he arrested Harden after he saw him leaving a parcel at the home of the Earl.

He said Harden replied by saying he had a relationship with Lady Anna for 10 years but that he did not suppose he had much chance with her while her father was alive.

In evidence, Lady Geraldine Dunraven said her husband was furious and that she had become frightened and was finding it difficult to cope.

She said Harden was a "twisted man" and that she saw him as "a threat to her family".

Harden undertook not to contact the family again and was warned he would face jail if he tried to contact the Dunravens or approached or entered their property in the future.

CAPTION(S):

WARNING: Harden; SCARED: Anna
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 14, 2002
Words:342
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