Lily Allen’s stalker detained indefinitely under Mental Health Act

Alex Gray, 31, sentenced at Harrow crown court after being convicted of burglary and stalking causing alarm and distress

A stalker who broke into the home of singer Lily Allen has been detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

Alex Gray, 31, was sentenced at Harrow crown court after being convicted of burglary and stalking causing alarm and distress.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the singer said: The impact of Mr Gray upon me and my family has been massive. I had already been incredibly disturbed and upset by the letters Mr Gray sent and his contact via social media but the break-in at my home was absolutely terrifying.

Gray, from Perth in Scotland, stalked Allen from December 2008 until October 2015 when he broke into her house while she and her children were in bed. Gray claimed he had written her hit track The Fear and after the break-in told police that he would cut her with a knife, judge Martyn Barklem told the court.

This was a terrifying experiencefor Ms Cooper, said Barklem, referring to the singers married name. It was extremely fortunate that there was an adult male in the property who evicted Mr Gray from it.

The court heard that Gray more than likely suffered paranoid schizophrenia and an overlapping delusional disorder centring on a fantasy that he wrote The Fear and was owed millions in royalties.

Gray only spoke to confirm his name but in a statement issued through his solicitor he apologised for the trauma he had caused. He said he was aware he had significant work to do with his doctors and wished to assure Miss Allen that he will not be pursuing her any further.

The stalking offence covered the period between 1 September 2015 and 15 October 2015. However, Gray already had an unspecified number of previous convictions, and had received a caution in 2008 after he arrived at her then home in London and handed her a CD containing love songs and a letter. He fled having grabbed post from the address, the court heard.

Further letters were received in March 2009, and in May 2009 the police confirmed they were happy the matter was closed. But in 2010 he turned up at her manager Todd Interlands office claiming payment for music he claimed he had composed and became threatening. He also turned up in disguise at Allens sisters shop, the prosector said.

In a victim impact statement, Allen said she was so scared of Gray that she had to move home. She said: His violent and threatening actions and behaviour have left me terrified for my and my childrens safety. Im not only terrified of him turning up my house but also given his crazy obsession with me Im really concerned what will happen on his release.

She believed Gray had been hiding in her garden on previous occasions and had waited for an opportune moment to break in.

The singer had already had metal shutters installed on her doors and had mistakenly left a door open after burning something in the kitchen on the night of the intrusion. Gray, whose father had died, broke into her bedroom, shouting: Where is my father? What have you done with my father?

In an <a href=”https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/apr/16/lily-allen-stalked-singer-police” data-link-name=”in” body link” data-component=”in-body-link” class=”u-underline”>interview with the Observer in April, Allen told how she had been subject to victim shame after she criticised the police for not mounting an adequate response. She said they had initially refused to give her a photograph of the man and it was only on the morning after the break-in that she wondered if the burglar was her stalker. She said the fear she felt was life-stealing.

At the time of the interview the Met said it was not able to respond to specific allegations, but stressed that it took stalking extremely seriously.

In her victim impact statement, Allen said: I did not recognise the man shouting and screaming at me in the bedroom in early hours of 2 Oct 2015. I was in shock and could not sleep once the police had left.

She added: The mans manner was so eerie and so odd, he clearly thought we knew each other and had said as much.

Neal Hunt, a consultant psychiatrist, said the main symptoms of Grays illness were a complex set ofdelusional ideas centred around Lily Allen and Mr Gray thinking that he has produced lyrics that have been stolen by her.

Sentencing Gray to an indefinite treatment to protect himself and the public, Barklem also placed him under a restraining order barring him from contacting the singer, directly or indirectly through social media, or of coming within 100 metres of her home, her concert venues or any business address. He has also been barred from entering two London boroughs; Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith & Fulham.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jun/10/lily-allen-stalker-alex-gray-mental-health-act

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