Fern Britton's stalker pursued TV presenter 200 miles to her home in Cornwall

Fern Britton's stalker even booked and stayed in her rental cottage -Credit:CHANNEL 5
Fern Britton's stalker even booked and stayed in her rental cottage -Credit:CHANNEL 5

A stalker pursued TV presenter Fern Britton to her home in Cornwall during a nearly two-year harassment campaign. James Haviland initiated his stalking campaign by sending flowers to the 66-year-old star in November 2021.

He then began making 200-mile trips from his home to stay in the village where she lives in north Cornwall. As the harassment escalated, Haviland booked a stay in a cottage owned and rented out by Britton in the area.

Last week, Haviland, 63, appeared via video link at Bodmin Magistrates' Court. He pleaded guilty to a single charge of stalking without fear, alarm or distress.

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The charge stated that "between 20/11/2021 and 16/9/2023 at Wadebridge, Cornwall, pursued a course of conduct which amounted to the stalking of Fern Britton and which you knew or ought to have known amounted to the harassment of her". According to the charge, Haviland sent the presenter and author unwanted flowers and a card in November 2021 and June 2023 and attempted to send more flowers in June 2022.

He stayed in the same village as former This Morning presenter Britton in February, May and November 2022. Furthermore, Haviland made a booking to stay in her rented cottage - which was not named in court - in June 2023, and stayed there for a week in September 2023.

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After leaving the cottage in September, he tried to book it again for another stay in November 2023. Prosecutor Samantha Rogers informed the magistrates that the individual subjected to stalking was "Fern Britton, a TV personality".

She detailed: "Over a prolonged period he sent flowers, stayed in a particular village moving closer to where she lives and staying in a cottage that she owns."

Britton, who was married to Cornwall's Phil Vickery, moved from Buckinghamshire to Cornwall in 2020 and credited the tourist hotspot with helping her heal after the death of her parents. She often posts images on social media capturing her idyllic life down south.

Defence solicitor Edward Stott stated that Haviland, from Chineham, Basingstoke, is set for sentencing by Basingstoke magistrates court next month following the preparation of a probation report. He has been released on bail.

The court indicated that his sentence could potentially involve a substantial community order.

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Haviland, bespectacled and dressed in a casual open neck shirt with a jumper, was seated beside his lawyer when he acknowledged the charge and entered a guilty plea.

Britton's first marriage to Clive ended in 2000, the same year she married famed chef Vickery, with their marriage concluding in 2020.

She decided to rebuild her life in Cornwall at the age of 53 after the pair split following more than 20 years together. Vickery kept their Buckinghamshire home, and Britton moved to Cornwall, previously admitting she could not even bear to unpack and face the memories stored in the boxes.

A year after her move, Britton discussed starting a new chapter of life, saying: "I’m not afraid of change… The last three years have been very hard. I lost my parents, I lost my marriage. I lost my other home in Buckinghamshire, too, because Phil lives there now and I’m in Cornwall.

"But the magic I’ve found here is incredible. I’ve made some wonderful girlfriends, that’s been a lovely surprise."

The couple first met when she hosted Ready Steady Cook in 1999, and they married the following year, having daughter Winnie in 2001. They also appeared regularly on ITV’s This Morning, which Britton fronted for a decade from 1999 and Vickery joined as chef in 2006, with Britton quitting in 2009 while Vickery still makes occasional appearances.