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Stalked newsreader escapes driving ban.

A television newsreader who was targeted by a stalker escaped a driving ban yesterday after telling magistrates she needed her car for personal safety.

ITV1 Wales presenter Lucy Cohen said she had been left 'nervous and cautious' after receiving death threats and obscene mail two years ago.

The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to speeding at Barry Magistrates' Court yesterday. The court heard she already had nine penalty points on her licence and was liable for disqualification.

Cohen, who was caught on camera driving at 42mph in a temporary 30mph limit through roadworks said: 'I need my car as an issue of personal safety.'

She told the magistrates: 'Two years ago a man was sending me obscene letters, threatening letters with anti-Semitic content. They were generally unpleasant. It carried on for a nine-month period to the date he was jailed.'

The stalker, Ashley Jenkins, was jailed again and then sectioned, said Cohen.

'But that has left me very wary and concerned for my personal safety,' she said. 'When you go through something like that, you are left with scars.'

She said that she continued to get letters from various people.

Stuart Hutton, defending, said Cohen had received death threats and 'sexually charged letters that were graphically illustrated'.

The court was handed a letter from Cohen's employers telling of their concerns for her welfare.

The magistrates were also told that Cohen, who drove 32,000 miles last year, used her car to do charity work which was encouraged by her bosses.

Chairman of the bench Ian Hamer said the case had exceptional circumstances.

Cohen, of Cardiff Bay, was fined pounds 100 and ordered to pay pounds 35 costs, and her driving licence was endorsed with four penalty points. She was warned she could not rely on the same reasons to avoid a ban in the next three years.

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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 9, 2004
Words:309
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