Newcastle widow Margaret Harvey convicted of harassing hospital chief executive Julia Bridgewater
A HOSPITAL chief executive fitted panic alarms at her home after suffering six months of constant harassment from a grieving widow.
Julia Bridgewater, head of the University Hospital of North Staffordshire feared for her family's safety after being bombarded with phone calls from her pensioner stalker at all times of the day and night.
Margaret Harvey, aged 73, used a private detective to track down a home address after becoming convinced Mrs Bridgewater was the only person who could answer questions about her husband's death.
Harvey's complaint against the Hartshill hospital dates back to 2004 when her husband Graham died from a heart attack – two years before Mrs Bridgewater even joined the management team.
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She is now awaiting sentence after appearing in court to admit harassment.
But despite the conviction, she has pledged not to give up her efforts to prove her husband should not have died when he did, even though numerous NHS investigations found the hospital has no case to answer.
Prosecuting, Lisa Newman, told North Staffordshire magistrates the phone calls and messages started on November 26 last year. A letter was sent to Harvey asking her not to contact Mrs Bridgewater at her home but the court heard she did not heed the warning.
Mrs Bridgewater then made a statement to the police saying she felt "harassed, stressed and completely and utterly upset" and was constantly frightened in case Harvey was outside.
It was at that point an alarm was fitted at her home.
Officers then interviewed Harvey and asked her why she was carrying out her campaign.
Mrs Newman told the court: "Harvey told the police about the death of her husband and said she felt the only person who could answer questions, despite the inquiries being held, was Mrs Bridgewater. She admitted contacting her on numerous occasions."
But Harvey, of Milford Road, Newcastle, continued to phone Mrs Bridgewater, who was so scared on one occasion she pressed the panic alarm.
The police arrived and an officer answered the phone and told Harvey not to ring again but she called back three more times.
When Harvey was interviewed a second time she described Mrs Bridgewater as "corrupt" and said she rang at night because she knew it would have "maximum effect". She added that she wanted Mrs Bridgewater to lose her job and when police asked if she would hurt her victim she replied that she could not answer that question.
Shaun Kellett, defending, said his client could not accept the hospital was not to blame for her husband's death.
He said: "She alleges that the hospital was negligent and she has pursued the matter for eight years. She is seeking some answers and obviously can't accept the answer she has been given."
He added there was no suggestion of any threats being made, but added: "She was causing a nuisance."
Harvey pleaded guilty to harassment between November 26 last year and June 6. She is due to be sentenced at the court next month.
Speaking after the hearing, Harvey told The Sentinel: "I will not give up."