A 22-year-old Albanian man has been sentenced to eight months in jail after relentlessly stalking an 11-year-old girl in Croydon, South London.
Erson Sinaj, homeless at the time, became fixated on the young girl after spotting her in a local park, leading to a four-day campaign of disturbing behaviour.
Sinaj repeatedly appeared at the girl’s residence, despite her mother’s initial belief that he intended to burglarise the home.
The mother eventually realised that Sinaj’s fixation was directed towards her daughter, as he persisted in knocking on the door and lingering outside the girl’s window at night.
This occurred even after police and neighbours had instructed him to leave.
Upon questioning by the police, Sinaj expressed his belief that he had the right to knock on the door, claiming to have seen a girl he liked in the park.
He insisted that there had been a mutual expression of love between them and that no one could stop him from pursuing her.
Judge Simon Mayo described Sinaj’s actions as stemming from a “deluded desire to establish a relationship with this girl,” and expressed concern over his refusal to accept that his behaviour was wrong.
Sinaj’s unwavering belief in a mutual connection with the young girl, despite her age, has been deemed “deeply troubling.”
The girl’s mother has experienced terror, disrupted sleep, and severe anxiety over her daughter’s well-being as a result of Sinaj’s stalking.
According to prosecutor Sebastian Cox, Sinaj returned to the girl’s home even after being warned by the police, continuing to knock on the door and attempting to maintain contact with her.
Sinaj’s lawyer, Afzal Syed-Ali, argued that his client had not been able to communicate with the victim’s family and neighbours due to a language barrier.
Sinaj, without a fixed address, pleaded guilty to stalking and causing serious alarm or distress.
In addition to his eight-month prison sentence, Sinaj has been issued a restraining order barring him from contacting the girl or her family and from visiting their residence.
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