Obsessed stalker plagued the lives of Seaton couple for years

PUBLISHED: 13:29 06 January 2017

Archant

A judge has ordered the arrest of an obsessed stalker who has plagued the lives of an innocent Seaton family for more than 25 years.

Sandy Lindsay-Murray developed a bizarre grudge against victim Elaine Johnston and her husband Martin and bombarded them with letters.

The poison-pen letters make false allegations of murder, theft, and a judicial cover-up which extends all the way to the top of Government.

The campaign of hate started when Lindsey-Murray cared for Mrs Johnston’s mother Dorothy before she died, aged 94, in 1993. They were not married but he changed his surname from Powell to be the same as hers.

He tried to stop Dorothy’s children visiting her in her final years and even disrupted her funeral.

Since then he has assaulted members of her family and broken a string of court orders which banned him from contacting them.

He refused to attend his trial at Exeter Crown Court where he was convicted in his absence of breaching a restraining order by contacting Mr and Mrs Johnston three times in 2013.

The case has taken more than three years to come to trial because Lindsay-Murray refused to cooperate in the legal process.

Recorder Philip Mott, QC, issued a warrant for Lindsay-Murray’s arrest. He said: “Whatever the rights and wrongs of this case, Mrs Johnston’s distress was apparent when she gave evidence.

Lindsay-Murray, aged 75, of Manley Gardens, Bridgwater, denied three counts of breaching a restraining order but was found guilty.

During a short case the jury heard how he sent a series of bizarre letters to Mr and Mrs Johnston, with whom he had a long-standing grievance over an inheritance.

He was made subject to a restraining order in 2012 but broke it by sending letter to Mr and Mrs Johnston at their home at Beer, near Seaton in May, September and November 2013.

The rambling letters claimed he was the victim of a far reaching conspiracy involving judges, politicians, the police and the courts.

The supposed plot included two murders and cover-ups, perjury and the perversion of the course of justice.

After the jury reached their verdict, Mr Jonathan Barnes, prosecuting, told them Lindsay-Murray, whose original name was Sandy Powell, has convictions for harassment, assault, and breach of orders dating back to 1998.

He said: “Mrs Johnston has made a victim impact statement which sets out the whole history of the matter, including how when her mother became ill, this defendant became aggressive and obstructed attempts to visit her mother.

“He disrupted the funeral and thereafter began a campaign and sending these written allegations of murder, theft and matters of that kind.

“Mrs Johnston describes how the ongoing nature of the harassment over the past 25 years has caused her severe mental and possibly physical illness.”

Lindsay-Murray did not attend the trial or give his version of events but when interviewed by police in 2013 he accepted writing the letters but denied they breached the restraining order.

He told officers Mrs Johnston was a ‘bloody wicked woman’ and said: “All I have done is write letters explaining what actually happened. I am the innocent person here.”

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