A cabaret singer nicknamed the ‘Veterans Sweetheart’ was stalked by an infatuated ex-soldier after she helped him join a choir for wounded war heroes.
Sarah Dennis had been in a two-year relationship with former royal engineer Alan Willetts, during which time he won a place as a tenor in the Invictus Choir.
But after they split up, Willetts began hounding Miss Dennis, 50, tracking her to her gym and also to a gig where she was due to perform, a court heard.
In one encounter Willetts, 61, had to be thrown out of Miss Dennis’ members-only fitness club when he unexpectedly appeared in front of her at a plunge pool.
Sarah Dennis (left) had been in a two-year relationship with former royal engineer Alan Willetts (shown outside Manchester Magistrates’ Court, right)
He also followed her in his car and left her voice mail messages threatening to report her for assault and saying he would make a complaint about her to a concert venue.
In a statement given under her real name Denise Roscoe, Miss Dennis said she feared Willetts, who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, was trying to ruin her career.
She added: ‘The constant stream of messages and contact from Alan has caused me harassment and distress – it’s made me exhausted.
‘I want him to leave me alone and stop contacting me ever again.’
At Manchester Magistrates’ Court, Willetts, of Tottington, Bury, admitted stalking and was banned from contacting Miss Dennis for two years.
The pair had begun a relationship in 2016 and Willetts told how she had encouraged him to audition for the Invictus Choir at Catterick Barracks in North Yorkshire.
After they split up, Willetts (left) began hounding Miss Dennis, 50, (right) tracking her to her gym and also to a gig where she was due to perform, a court heard
He said he later passed his audition and was due to perform with the choir at various venues including the Royal Albert Hall.
But the court heard the couple fell out after they split up in February this year.
Andrew Martin prosecuting said: ‘They did not live together and had no children together.
‘But the victim describes the defendant as being very persistent after they were said to be in a friendship following the separation when it did not work.
‘The victim and the defendant did charity work together in July 2018, but the victim felt the defendant was getting involved with her too much.
Willetts, who suffers from PTSD, admitted stalking and was banned from contacting Miss Dennis for two years
‘She became increasingly distressed at him speaking with her and him getting too involved in her life.
‘The victim told the defendant to back off and said that no other friends called her six or seven times a day.
‘But on August 7, 2018 the defendant and the victim got into a text argument to the point that the victim had to block him on all phone communication.’
Willetts was also given a 12 month community order and fined £135 with costs and surcharges of £125.
In mitigation, defence lawyer Stephen Munton said: ‘He served his country but due to those experiences he now suffers with PTSD.
‘He himself was on medication and the situation was exacerbated by the relationship breakdown.
‘He wanted to have contact with Miss Roscoe and due to shared interest, that relationship rekindled in June, the physical and emotion shared interest in charity work was a massive part of that.
‘But she felt the relationship was not for the long term at that point and his behaviour overstepped the mark.
‘He had been persistently helpful but was now being persistently unhelpful and he wants to have closure.
‘He accepts the number of telephone calls which an element of harassment but there were some chance encounters too.
When he approached her at the gym he wanted to ask her why she spoke to him in that way and they both have a membership at the gym.
‘He wants to know where he stands and he wants to know what’s going on in the relationship.’