A former Miss England finalist has slammed the ‘ludicrous’ decision to release her stalker Jonathan Deal, 39, just two days before an air show that he knows she is attending
A former Miss England finalist has slammed the ‘ludicrous’ decision to release her stalker from jail just two days before an airshow where he confronted her.
Trainee school teacher Samantha Bumford, 25, said she is scared obsessed Jonathan Deal, 39, will turn up at Bournemouth Air Festival, Dorset, where he waited for five hours for her last year and refused to leave until he saw her.
The wannabe popstar, who auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent, has claimed that he ‘fell in love’ with Miss Bumford after she accepted his friend request on Facebook.
He sent her a barrage of unwanted messages, repeatedly showed up uninvited to her shows, and also attempted to kiss her before being jailed for 23 weeks in February after pleading guilty to a charge of harassment.
After his release in May he was sentenced to a further 26 weeks after he breached a restraining order by sharing an advert of the show, which he knew she would attend.
But, after his sentence was reduced, he is set for release just two days before the show next week.
Trainee school teacher Samantha Bumford, 25, said she is scared that the obsessed man will turn up at Bournemouth Air Festival. He was jailed for 26 weeks in May after breaching the conditions of a restraining order and sharing an advert about the show. (Pictured: Miss Bumford leaving court in February. Her stalker was sentenced to 23 weeks in jail in February after pleading guilty to harassment)
The Miss England star said what scares her is that it isn’t clear what the stalker is capable of. Deal claimed to have ‘fallen in love’ with Ms Bumford after she accepted his Facebook friend request in the mistaken belief that he was a fan
Deal sent her a barrage of messages, repeatedly came to shows uninvited and also tried to kiss her before he was sentenced after pleading guilty to harassment
Miss Bumford said she was contacted by a probation officer, who told her that the decision had been taken to release her stalker early.
She said that at the airshow last year Deal had ‘tried to get into the hospitality tent’ and ‘would not leave until he saw me’.
‘It was really creepy,’ she said. ‘He has already shared the the air festival Facebook page so it is clearly on his radar.
‘He is clearly obsessed by me and I don’t know what he is capable of, this is what scares me.
‘It is ludicrous that he is being released two days before this year’s air festival. He was jailed in July for 26 weeks so how on earth if being allowed out so soon?’
Miss Bumford is also calling for the introduction of a ‘stalkers charter’ to protect victims like her.
She said that it was only when Deal appeared in court that she realised he had 19 previous convictions for harassment and stalking women dating back to 2003.
A picture, posted on Jonathan Deal’s Facebook profile showing him posing with Ms Bumford. After posting one of her events on Facebook he said he was in love with her
Deal has 19 previous convictions for harassing and stalking women that date back to 2003. (Pictured: Miss Bumford leaves court following Deal’s hearing. He was sentenced to 23 weeks in jail in February and then, after breaching a restraining order, a further 26 weeks in May)
Deal became obsessed with Miss Bumford after she accepted his friend request on Facebook. (Pictured: Miss Bumford on a boat last year wearing the Miss Dorset banner)
Miss Bumford, the 2017 Miss England Social Media Queen, wants a change in the law for people receiving unwanted attention from strangers to be given access to information if that person has previous convictions.
She said: ‘Deal had 19 previous convictions, some for stalking, which I didn’t know about. Had I done so I would have steered well clear of him and taken extra precautions.’
After accepting his friend request, Deal, whose stage name is JAYD, started responding and reacting to her photos and started attending her events.
In August 2018 he came to an event she had advertised on her timeline and posted a liveblog from it, in which he claimed to be ‘in love’ with Miss Bumford. She was not aware of this and spoke to Deal at the event, believing he was a fan.
Deal’s behaviour escalated and he made attempts to get into an exclusive tent the victim was in for the Bournemouth Air festival, would wait for hours to speak to her, set up live blogs attempting to find out where she was and bought her a necklace.
Mr Deal pictured at a BBC event, posted to his Facebook page in November last year. Ms Bumford (right) was eventually forced to block her unwanted admirer on Facebook
His infatuation culminated in him following her to the finals of Miss England in Nottingham where he tried to kiss her as she came off stage.
Ms Bumford, 25, said she was forced to shove him away and flee towards her family.
Feeling spurned, Deal later sent her a message claiming ‘you only did well in Miss England because the judges thought you were my girlfriend’.
The day after the Miss England event in Nottingham, Deal posted a photograph of Ms Bumford in a white wedding dress on his Facebook page.
Beneath the image he left a heart emoji and commented that he had ‘fallen in love’. He also included an emoji of an engagement ring.
Deal sent Miss Bumford numerous messages in the days after the finals and her father even attempted to intervene by asking Deal to leave his daughter alone.
Deal had also previously posted an image of himself, dressed in a black vest and shorts posing next to Ms Bumford at an event.
According to his Facebook account, he competed in season 13 of the X Factor with a picture posted of himself at the show’s auditions. There is no record of him having competed in Britain’s Got Talent.
The Bournemouth Air Festival will take place on Thursday next week.