Oluwaseyi Elemide, 26, badgered Demi Witter at her Lavender Hill business ‘lash+brow lab’ in Battersea, bringing a gift of tea and a card, banging on the salon windows and following her on Instagram between July 20 and 27 last year.
Wimbledon Magistrates Court heard that the University of Northampton graduate even wrote her the clumsy romantic poem: ‘Roses are red, violets are blue. We fit together like a bespoke three-piece and dapper shoes.’
Nigerian-born Elemide, of Putney, pleaded guilty to stalking Ms Witter, 28, involving serious alarm and distress last July.
In a victim impact statement, Ms Witter said: ‘His behaviour is frightening and I am worried he will wait outside and follow me home. He turned up unannounced three times in a week.
‘I think he is infatuated with me and I am stressed out and anxious because of this. I have to work with the door locked and I am afraid he will confront me in the street.’
Prosecutor Corran Helme told the court Elemide first approached Ms Witter, who quit a sociology degree to start her business, in the street.
‘He tried to engage her in conversation and informed her he had his own business and engaged in an arms-length business level and she told him she was not interested,’ he told the court.
‘She gave him her business card and week later received an email from the defendant, explaining he could help her business and she replied, informing him no help was needed.
‘However, he did not stop and began following her on Instagram. She blocked him and he sent her an email.’
Elemide wrote: ‘How are you? Some of the content was good on Instagram. You blocked me, what did I do to deserve that?’.
He then attended the victim’s busy salon and left a box of teabags and a greeting card wishing her luck.
Ms Witter told Elemide to grow up and asked how old he was, repeating he was not welcome at the salon and she would call the police if she saw him again.
Two minutes later he returned to the salon window, showing the victim a post-it note with his age written on it.
Elemide even tried to get an appointment at the salon, emailing Ms Witter: ‘Hi. I’d like to have a booking to try something with my brows’.
When she begged to be left alone he replied: ‘Jesus Christ. What the f****’s your problem?’.
Ms Witter and her female business partner were alone in the salon at 5.45pm on July 27. ‘Suddenly there was a loud banging on the window and the defendant was there again,’ Mr Helme said.
‘They felt afraid and hid behind one of the screens in the salon.’
Elemide’s lawyer Alex Mullen told the court: ‘He had a tough time during Covid and his restaurant business closed and he is now in an accounting role full-time for a television and film production company.
‘He has a degree in accounting and finance from the University of Northampton and this infatuation has sadly landed him in court.’
Elemide was handed a 12-month community order, which includes 50 hours community service and up to 20 days of a recommended activity requirement.
The court also made him subject to an indefinite restraining order, prohibiting contact with Ms Witter or going to the salon, and he must pay £85 costs and a £95 victim surcharge.