Benedict Cumberbatch 'left shaken' by female stalker at his home

Benedict Cumberbatch was left shaken after a female stalker visited his home on at least two occasions and left strange messages. The Sherlock star reported the incidents to the police and action has been taken.

The woman, who is believed to be an obsessed fan, left red ribbons at Benedict's north London property, one tied to his car and the other attached to a window of his home.

The ribbons are believed to be a reference to Arthur Conan Doyle's original Sherlock Holmes novel, in which the detective tells his assistant Dr Watson: "There's the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, isolate it, and expose every inch of it."

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A female stalker has left red ribbons at Benedict Cumberbatch's home, thought to be in reference to Sherlock Holmes

Benedict, who shares his house with his wife Sophie and their newborn son Christopher, called police after the incidents. The Metropolitan Police have issued the woman with an official Police Information Notice over harassment, which forbids her from contacting the 39-year-old actor.

The Harrow-educated star has also stepped up security at the London theatre where he is currently performing as Hamlet.

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The stalker has approached Sophie and Benedict's house at least twice

"Benedict is used to people mobbing him wherever he goes and he's a good sport about it," a source told The Mirror. "But this individual has taken things to the next level and there was no option but to pursue official action.

"Turning up at professional events is one thing, but arriving uninvited at the family home is quite another.

"It might be that she thinks it's harmless, but it does feel a bit sinister. Leaving red ribbons is obviously a bit of a game, but it does feel quite dark."

Sherlock will return to screens in January 2016 with a New Year's special. The fourth series of the BBC drama has been commissioned and will begin filming in April of next year, to be aired in 2017.