Obsessed man harassed his cousin with unwanted texts, calls and letters

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A mentally-ill young man who was obsessed with his cousin has been given a restraining order after he plagued her with texts, letters and phone calls.

Steve Kavuma, 18, of The Woodlands, at Whaley Thorns, had been warned by police about his behaviour but he continued to pester his cousin so much that she had to change phone numbers and disconnect her landline, according to Chesterfield magistrates’ court.

Prosecuting solicitor Neil Hollett told the court hearing on Wednesday, April 25: “This started back in February, 2017, when police became involved for the first time.

“The complainant reported that a cousin had started repeatedly sending her texts and had been making phone calls and making financial, unwanted gifts.”

Mr Hollett added police warned Kavuma about his behaviour but he continued with texts and phone calls to the complainant as well as calls, texts and snapchat messages to her daughter and texts to her partner.

Police discovered 52 messages from the defendant to the complainant’s phone, according to Mr Hollett, and there were complaints about an unwanted pizza delivery as well as calls registered to a ‘no caller ID’ believed to be from this defendant.

The court heard how police recommended the complainant change her phone numbers and when Kavuma started calling a landline instead this had to be disconnected.

Kavuma subsequently resorted to writing letters, according to Mr Hollett, some of which contained money and he also arranged mini-cab orders to drive the complainant to an address.

The defendant told police he had hoped the victim would give him a chance and he had just wanted her to realise that he was a good, humble boy.

But he admitted he had become obsessed with his cousin but he had not wanted to upset anyone.

Kavuma pleaded guilty to causing harassment in Mansfield between August, 2017, and April, 2018.

Defence solicitor Mark Stocks said Kavuma has mental health problems and he has been referred to see a clinical psychologist.

He added: “It’s clear this gentleman’s obsession with his cousin is more of a symptom of mental health problems and an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder than an intention to cause any harm or distress.

“A vast number of texts, telephone calls and letters were sent to this lady between these dates but only two of them were in any way threatening and the vast majority were intended to be affectionate and friendly.

“But we have to appreciate that a symptom of his mental health difficulties is that he did not understand that and it was not intended to cause any distress but we accept that was the effect.”

Kavuma was sentenced to a 12 month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and an indefinite restraining order.

He was also fined £10 and must pay an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.