Daily Express

Wednesday October 22, 2008

By Martin Stote

LIFE for residents in a tranquil village turned into a living hell when a troublemaker who lived at Fairytale Cottage ran a bizarre poison pen campaign, a court heard yesterday. Graham Speed allegedly bom barded his victims – who ranged from neighbours to complete strangers – with faxes, internet messages and videos.

Among them were a gynaecologist whom he accused of fathering a love child and an RAF man he branded a sex pest, a magistrate was told.

Jobless, twice-married Speed, 51, took photographs of a large number of villagers, some of them covertly. They included police community support officer Sarah Lingard and her partner Tanya Brumpton.

He is said to have bombarded the parish council of Harmston, Lincolnshire, with requests under the Freedom of Information Act. Some of the facts he asked for went back to the time of the Vikings.

Speed was even said to have posted derogatory comments on the internet about the village’s award-winning pub, the Thorold Arms.

Police yesterday applied to Lincoln magistrates for an anti-social behaviour order to ban Speed, who now lives six miles away in Lincoln, from entering the village, which has a population of just 800.

The order would also bar him from contacting or photographing 17 named people and making false claims through the internet or other media.

Speed, who denies all the allegations, was not in court as several of his alleged victims told of their ordeals.

Dr Odiri Oteri, 45, a gynaecologist at Lincoln County Hospital, said he almost lost his job after Speed falsely accused him of fathering a love child.

He told the court: “The allegations affected me quite significantly. I had to be reported to the General Medical Council. It was very serious.

“My work requires trust. I was suspicious of everyone after the allegations were made, so it really affected my confidence.”

He said his wife, Dr Efeilomo Oteri, received “dozens” of faxes detailing the malicious claims.

Dr Oteri added: “It sows the seeds of doubt. It has had a very significant impact on my family.”

Serviceman Ewan Stockbridge said Speed posted a video entitled Sex Pest Caught on CCTV on the internet, which led to him being questioned by his RAF superiors for three hours.

Parish council chairman Dominic Oldham said Speed used the Freedom of Information Act to demand details of the village, but also pestered him with malicious emails and took photographs of him.

He said: “The idea of someone who has been sending emails to me in the middle of the night taking pictures of me I find pretty sinister.”

Businessman Philip Myatt had spent 30 years building up a reputable nursing services company.

He said Speed once prompted a police investigation by accusing him of brandishing a pistol, falsely reported him as a drink-driver and claimed that he was committing fraud.

Mr Myatt told magistrates: “He made a complaint that I ran fraudulent businesses and squandered the money on yachts in Jersey, and that was only the tip of the iceberg.

“The NHS fraud squad was involved, and there were child protection issues because I ran a nursery. Four or five agencies were investigating me.

“I have no understanding of what I could have done to upset his life.”

Alison Welch, who is joint landlady of the Thorold Arms with Julie Haycraft, said Speed posted derogatory comments about the pub on the internet.

One read: “It’s a shambles. Stay at home. One of the two odd landladies tried coming on to me. Beware.”

The case is taking place in Speed’s absence after he chose not to attend. His former wife Penelope, 55, said Speed suffered a brain haemorrhage in 1992.

She added: “It possibly changed him. I have tried to avoid him since that time.” The hearing continues.


Created on: 2008-10-01 09:33:35