A BBC Radio 6 DJ has spoken of his terror after being allegedly stalked by a woman who said he would ‘die’ and shouted racist slurs at his wife, a court heard today.
Gilles Peterson, real name Gilles Moerhle, said he was ‘frightened’ by the woman who allegedly stalked him from January to March this year.
He said she had ripped up an image of him and put it behind his windscreen wipers.
Mr Peterson also said a Twitter account appearing to be that of 43-year-old Sarah Jayne Rook tweeted him during the recording of his Saturday afternoon show calling him a ‘fraud’ and that someone should ‘f***ing kill him’.
Prosecutors allege that Rook screamed ‘you will die’ at Mr Peterson as he left BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place, central London, on March 21.
On another occasion, he said she went to his house posing as a charity worker before yelling abuse at his Japanese wife Atsuko by calling her ‘a Hiroshima b****’.
When police arrested Rook, she denied allegations but said she was a ‘freelance journalist conducting an investigation’. She was charged with stalking on March 25.
Rook is accused of harassment, an alternative count of stalking, and two racially aggravated public order offences.
Gilles Peterson has spoken of his terror after being allegedly stalked by a woman who said he would ‘die’ and shouted racist slurs at his wife, Stratford Magistrates Court heard today
Appearing via Skype link, 55-year-old Mr Peterson told Stratford Magistrates Court: ‘I was in bed about 10 o’clock at night. I had just come back from Australia so I was a little jetlagged, hence why I was in bed early.
‘I heard a noise and I assumed it would be one of my son’s friends ringing on the bell. It wasn’t and that was really the first time I heard the person shouting abuse.
‘My wife answered the door she didn’t open the door and when the person asked to see me my wife said I was asleep.
‘She then started shouting abuse at the house constantly for about half an hour until the police arrived. Several houses had called the police I believe, on our street and of course we called the police as well.
‘I went downstairs hearing the commotion and could see her from my window, I was watching from my blinds.’
Referring to the ripped-up photograph of himself left on his windscreen, Mr Peterson said it was ‘frightening’ to see Rook outside again.
Mr Peterson said: ‘It was a commercial photograph they give at the BBC as a DJ and it was torn into several pieces.
‘I was having a shower shortly afterwards and when I came downstairs my wife had been outside. I saw her walking around shouting abuse and frantically going up and down the house.
‘She was just walking around but it was frightening to see her in the area again.’
He said he was in the middle of a live set at the Radio 6 studio when he spotted a tweet branding him a ‘fraud’ and a ‘contrived c***’.
Another tweet allegedly threatened to ‘f***ing kill him’.
Sarah Jayne Rook is accused of harassment, an alternative count of stalking, and two racially aggravated public order offences
Mr Peterson said Rook allegedly began knocking on the window of his home on March 16 before alighting the house by jumping onto building work outside.
He told the court: ‘She was banging on my window trying to get my attention and then we were having building work done on the house and she climbed the scaffolding and sat at the top until police arrived.
‘I knew it as a very traumatic experience for all of us. I was worried about the situation itself because it was escalating.
‘It was so frantic and extreme. I believe she had been to court and had been given an order that she couldn’t be seen near me.’
Prosecuting, Matthew Grove said that Mr Peterson found the torn up photograph behind the windscreen wipers on March 8, and on two separate other occasions found a Joker and a Queen of Clubs playing card.
Mr Groves added: ‘On 16 March Mr Moerhle saw her outside his studio building shouting obscenities and called the police.
‘Ms Rook had climbed on the scaffolding on the building containing the studio.
‘Police attended that call at 1.37pm and PC Richards arrested her on suspicion of harassment. As PC Richards took her to a waiting arrest van, Ms Rook said that she was not a proper police officer and called her a “Winnie Mandela”.
‘This caused PC Richards to arrest her for a racially aggravated public order offence. She was taken to Bethnal Green police station and interviewed the following day.
‘Ms Rook denied all allegations and denied she even knew the Moerhles.’
Rook, who had appeared in person after being remanded into custody, stormed out of court prior to trial after making multiple interruptions.
District Judge Louisa Ciecióra said: ‘I do intend to proceed in absence. Ms Rook has been disorderly from the outset, I’ve given her a number of warnings to not interrupt. In the circumstances and in the interests of justice, the trial will go ahead.’
The trial continues.