McElderry 'stalker' found guilty

Ennis McBride has been convicted of harassing Joe McElderry and his mother Eileen Joyce

Former X Factor winner Joe McElderry

First published in National News © by

A man accused of stalking X Factor winner Joe McElderry and his mother has been convicted of harassment.

Ennis McBride, 53, from Stockport, was found guilty at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court after McElderry and members of his family gave evidence during the trial.

District Judge Roger Elsey said of McBride: "He has given evidence but has not been a compelling witness and lacked credibility. He totally lacked insight into the impact of his actions on the complainants."

The judge fined him £1,000 and ordered him to pay £915 costs. McBride was subject to a five-year restraining order preventing him from contacting the singer or his mother. McBride said as he left court that he intended to appeal.

McBride, a part-time PhD student with a degree in psychology and philosophy and another in counter fraud and criminal justice - who works in the Netherlands, must not approach within 100m of his victims or communicate with them.

McBride became a fan of McElderry when he appeared on X Factor, winning the 2009 series. But later he became abusive on Twitter, posting offensive comments relating to McElderry's sexuality.

He became obsessed with a gift of 50 opera CDs he asked to be passed on to McElderry after a show in Brighton - becoming concerned that they had never arrived, then convincing himself that he was being lied to by the singer's management.

McBride turned up at McElderry's South Shields home when he was in the bath, but was turned away by the singer's best friend on September 11 last year. The stalker then turned up at McElderry's former home where his mother Eileen Joyce was in the process of moving out.

The judge told him: "It is clear you did cause substantial distress to Eileen Joyce and you caused distress to Joe McElderry and you persisted in that over a period of time."

In a statement after the case, McElderry said: "I am happy this is all over and I just want to draw a line under it."

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