BBC presenter Alex Lovell’s rape threat stalker jailed

Gordon Hawthorn pleaded guilty to one count of stalking involving serious alarm or distress

A man who stalked a BBC presenter with letters in which he threatened to rape her has been jailed.

Gordon Hawthorn, 69, of Street, Somerset, sent the threats to Points West’s Alex Lovell over six years.

Ms Lovell began receiving cards at the BBC’s regional centre on Whiteladies Road, Bristol, in 2012.

Jailing Hawthorn for two-and-a-half years, Bristol Crown Court judge Martin Picton said the letters made Ms Lovell “frightened and miserable”.

Hawthorn had previously pleaded guilty at the city’s magistrates’ court, to one count of stalking involving serious alarm or distress.

He sent Ms Lovell letters for more than six years but they became more threatening between January 2016 and March 2018, police said.

Alex Lovell
BBC Points West presenter Alex Lovell was repeatedly sent threatening letters

His conduct “amounted to stalking and caused Ms Lovell serious alarm or distress, which had an adverse effect on her usual day-to-day activities”, the charge stated.

He was caught following a police appeal, when a member of the public told officers she had received a similar card.

Tests showed his DNA matched that found on cards sent to Ms Lovell.

Judge Picton said Hawthorn chose to send “disgusting frightening letters, that caused serious impact” on Ms Lovell.

“The letters you sent caused distress and fear. She knew the author of those letters was watching.

“When out and about she couldn’t be sure you wouldn’t be watching for her. She was frightened and miserable.”

Card sent by stalker
The cards were usually signed “Gordon”, with five crosses – one large X and four small ones around it

Card from stalker
The victim contacted police in January 2016 when the cards started to become more threatening
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